Innovation is the primary goal of the Interior Design Show, which ended on Sunday. The trade show, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, is the nation’s main showcase for contemporary design. Yet the designers, in their enduring quest for originality, typically fell into one of three categories: the pious rehashing of traditional classics, CNC production for the sake of CNC production, and textiles. As usual, textiles were the true star of the show.
Several stunning, oversized rugs were suspended from the ceiling and visible from almost anywhere in the space. These were the ten colourful winners of the Weaver’s Art ERA Design Contest, selected from hundreds of submissions.
A highlight of the show for many visitors, the Studio North exhibit offered a slice of homegrown design talent “at its ultimate.” This year, the output of thirty-five Canadian studios and designers working in wood, metal, plastic, and textiles was on display in a clean, white exhibition space. Among them were Manor 12, a textile designer who launched a new collection of affordable, multicoloured pillows; Brollte, a lighting design company that displayed a series of beautifully hand-painted lamp shades on traditional lamp bases; and Peteran Works’ A Table Made of Wood, the deconstruction and recreation of a traditional writing table made using scraps of wood found on the floor of the designer’s woodshop.
The furniture, lighting, textile, and accessory designs in the show’s Prototype exhibit were all chosen by a jury for their beauty and innovation. This year the Prototypes seemed to blend in with the Studio North projects, a consequence of the booths’ layouts and proximity. Items by independent designers and studios from across Canada were literally highlighted by a resin LED chandelier designed by Group Two Design Inc., which won an award for best prototype.
One thing was quite clear: despite recent economic doom and gloom, output proved second to none. It seemed the desire for luxury was a driving force behind many of the booths, evident by their rich, visual tactility. Shag rugs and plush pillows were the choice accessories of many designers. In a foreshadowing of things to come, one of the first booths visible after ascending the escalators was stuffed with a collection of extravagant items, such as feather-covered light fixtures and a Hermes-orange studded console. As a consequence of the density of furniture, the designer’s name was the most prominent feature of the display: Snob. Roomy Interiors even reconceptualized a traditional shed as a woman’s private, romantic escape, and adorned the interior with an antique dressing table and chair, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, a tufted daybed, and a gilded statue of the Goddess Eden.
Also new for this year, IDS10 was part of the inaugural Toronto International Design Festival, or TIDF as its organizers hope it will soon be known, a week-long umbrella festival comprised of various contemporary design events around the city.
Photos by Remi Carreiro/Torontoist.
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