What to Do at IDS Toronto 2020

Community, Collaboration, and Imagining Otherwise.

Anyone who watched Greg Durrell’s Design Canada understands how important and vibrant design has been in this northern nation. Those responsible for building a design-oriented identity in Canada have had to contend with the often-overshadowing affects of European traditions, but with the Interior Design Show, Toronto takes the centre stage. Iconic gatherings such as the Montreal Expo ’67 loom in Canada’s past, signalling a broad and sometimes complicated history of reconciling the design traditions of different cultures. This year, IDS continues this tradition by looking forward. The lineup features designers who are innovative, diverse, and who articulate the beauty of sustainably built, community-oriented modulations with innovative forms. Whether its interior design, architecture, or business strategy, the members of the lineup for IDS all seem to be on the same page.

Here are some exhibitions and talks we are excited for at IDS at the Toronto Convention Centre January 16th-19th 2020.


Edible Futures

Popular at IDS West 2019, Edible Futures is curated by the Dutch Institute of Food & Design. Small representations of future foods that range from the sustainable to the outright scary are accompanied by voice recordings. These recordings are astonishingly detailed, as the narrator contextualizes the world that the objects might arise in. This is true speculative realism that will engross any reader of fiction or anyone who thinks about the changing nature of how we view food.


Francis Kéré

Francis Kéré is an architect born in Burkina Faso who works out of Berlin. With the help and input of communities, Kéré constructs schools and other civic buildings that draw on the environment. The success of these buildings demonstrates that design has long term effects on the social health of a humanity as well as its aesthetics. His keynote talk at IDS is sure to be filled with insight and inspiration.


Jonathan Adler

Partnering with Caesarstone, Adler’s exhibition challenges the way we see material. By turning the hardness of stone into a soft, ethereal environment, Adler has shown just how far imagining otherwise can bring us. For those interested in doing innovative things with classic materials, this exhibition is a must.


Bethan Laura Wood

A glimmering shape, a vibrant color, a puzzling movement—these are the thoughts that may run through the head of those who view the work of Bethan Laura Wood. The kaleidoscopic, surrealistic tendencies of this internationally renowned artist span a variety of materials and functions. These are designs for the strong-at-heart, and one look convinces that their maker has something to say that’s worth hearing.


Concept House

What does a house built around a consideration for mental health look like? Should this consideration be at the top of our lists? Hummingbird Hill Homes, VFA Architecture & Design, and VTLA Studio are trying to answer these questions with their featured Concept House. Those who experience it will asked to consider how material, light, and form all shape mood and mental states in lived spaces.


BEAT retrospective

A learning experience, Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT) will look back on their nearly 5 years of serving the cause of equality through architecture. For those who are wondering about how built environments can serve the functioning of community and democracy, this “learning lab” is suggested. According to their website, the organization aims to increase the visibility of women and minorities in the design field through networking events, and perhaps their IDS talk will serve a similar function for those interested in continuing to diversify and strengthen this industry.


Yves Béhar

An icon in the design world, and a known philanthropist at large, Béhar is a keynote speaker and international guest of honor this year. Recognized by Forbes as the “Most Influential Industrial Designer in the World,” his insights are sure to be invaluable for anyone interested in the difference-making potential of technological contemporary design.


Never miss a story. Sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter here.