IDS West Conference

by Stephanie

As a Canada novice, my first Vancouver experience will definitely bring me back to the Great North. Not only is the city impeccably clean and beautifully designed, but the people are some of the most generous and genuinely kind in North America. And while this metropolitan city is probably best known for its recent gig as host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver hosts many innovative events, including the One of a Kind Show, the PuSH International Performing Arts Festival and most recently, the Interior Design Show West (IDS West). I was lucky enough to be invited to the IDS West Conference this year, and I am excited to share with you some of the great things I saw. — Stephanie

Photo by Stephanie Todaro, Pig by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

Read the full post after the jump . . .

The IDS West Design Conference marked its seventh year in Vancouver this past September 29 to October 2 weekend. Starting as a venue for local Vancouver designers to showcase their work specifically designed for small and compact spaces, the IDS West Conference quickly expanded to include international designers of all caliber and genres. Today it is one of the largest design showcases in Canada. Vancouver native, design enthusiast and IDS West founder Jason Heard created the event as a means to showcase some of the up-and-coming and established innovative design talents in the Vancouver area but never imagined the event growing to the size it is today. “I really had no idea what I was doing, but these people believed in me,” Jason said in our quick chat.

In its seventh year, this conference now boasts more than 110 retailers, 30+ manufacturers and 75+ independent designers. Some of the most influential architectural and interior design names — including Ross Lovegrove and Montauk Sofa — as well as the most innovative design concepts and young emerging talent from across the globe gathered to showcase the best in their field. With so much talent, it was hard to narrow down my choices, but some of my favorites from this year included:

Fleet: These lovely ceramic creations are the work of Vancouver-based designer Zoe Garred. Among her ceramic goods, Zoe also crafts wood bowls, lamps and assorted jewelry. She was also just nominated for the Western Living Designer of the Year Awards.

Identity: This Canada-centric t-shirt brand has recently branched off into the home-goods realm with a series of pillows and throws. Designer Meghan Irish chose to make her first line of throws and pillows out of recycled army blankets with a unique graphic printed on each one.

Rubbish Rehab: One designer I took particular notice of was Chloe Chinn of Rubbish Rehab. She and her husband, Kevin, are responsible for some incredible upholstery work in their Seattle studio. Working with fine artists, Chloe and Kevin offer their clients refurbished vintage chairs with one-of-a-kind fabrics.

Dina Gonzalez Mascaro: Canada-based jewelry designer and artist Dina Gonzales Mascaro has a collection of some of the most unique and graphic jewelry that I have ever seen. She uses a majority of sterling silver to create large, sculptural pieces, including my personal favorite: this gigantic rabbit ring.

Re-Fab —Design for Sail: The most interesting, innovative and eco-friendly exhibitor at IDS West had to be the Re-Fab: Design for Sail section. In collaboration with Architecture for Humanity and Artsy-Dartsy.com, several local designers were challenged to repurpose the Teflon-coated material from the legacy sails of the former Canada Place structure into functional designs. The results included a series of light fixtures and an impressive canoe.

Image above: The Dirty Apron Cooking School dining room

Not only was the design on point this weekend, but the dining certainly impressed, as well. Brunch at Café Medina, lunch at the Dirty Apron Cooking School, dinner at Cento Notti at the beautiful Opus Hotel and an evening of milkshake cocktails at Society were all I needed to help me understand the culinary culture of Vancouver: DELICIOUS!

I just wanted to give a special thank you to HethPR for allowing me to see the best this city has to offer. And thanks to IDS West for an inspiring showcase of design. And an extra-special thanks to the city of Vancouver for my first taste of our great neighbor to the north, eh?

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