August 26, 2011

Spotlight on Design

Topnotch speakers, innovative technology and a number of ‘firsts’ are promised for Interior Design Show west.


Ross Lovegrove has been called a true visionary, one who transcends design, technology, science and architecture to create cutting edge design. The internationally acclaimed industrial designer from London, England, is the keynote speaker at the 7th annual Vancouver International Design Show (IDS) west.

The L41 Ultra Compact Home, by Michael Katz Architecture.

“We are so excited to have this incredibly talented, world renowned designer as our keynote speaker,” says Jason Heard, IDS west’s show director. Also to address the show will be Jeremy Cole, the U.K.’s sculptural lighting designer. Brent Comber, one of B.C.’s best-known furniture designers, is among those taking part in the show. The contemporary design show is a hub of creative talent from B.C. and around the world, drawing together more than 220 exhibitors to showcase the big trends for 2011.

“We try to be focused solely on world-class original, quality design,” says Heard. “This year’s show is filled with lots of technology, colour and lighting innovation.” Vancouver architect Michael Katz will unveil his L41 Compact Home – a 220-square-foot home that feels surprisingly spacious and is outfitted with a sustainable heating system and eco-friendly materials.

“We wanted to build the Smart car of homes,” says the South African-born architect. “We worked on a prototype for about three years. We can add modules to this studio model, adding one or two bedrooms, which brings it to 450 square feet.” Vancouver-based Molo will introduce its Hobo lantern, a portable bag-like lamp that can be carried anywhere. There will be many firsts this year, including entrance to the show via an art tunnel.  “We are really excited … people are brought into an Alice-in-Wonderland world, leaving behind one world for another,” says Heard.

The show has also teamed up with Architecture for Humanity Vancouver in a challenge between eight teams of designers who will create something out of material from the Five Sails of the old Canada Place. The final projects will be exhibited at the show. After the inaugural success of last year’s Future Masters: Young Designers West, IDS west is once again featuring the designers of tomorrow.

“It’s really exciting to run mentoring projects for young designers and to connect them with trades people and consumers,” Heard says. Last year, the exhibition attracted more than 30,000 visitors over three days. This year’s show promises to be even bigger. “Vancouver, and for that matter British Columbia, is filled with talented artisans who are creating incredible pieces and locals are really embracing the idea of buying one-of-a-kind locally-made furniture,” Heard says.

The 7th annual IDS west show runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place (at the foot of Burrard Street). Design professionals as well as the public can hear Lovegrove speak at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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