The Interior Design Show, a yearly design showcase in Toronto, is online again this year, and if the pandemic ever ends, I think we will all go years before complaining about trade shows. However, the digital format does force ideas to stand on their own without the wine and social anxiety that accompanies these types of events.
And great ideas there will be. Under the theme Spring Resiliency, the show gathers the best of the best from design in Canada and around the world. This year, sustainability, racial equity in design, and public health are all on the table. With everyone from Google and IKEA to independent scholars contributing, the public can be sure of inspiration.
Here are five of the most exciting digital events from IDS 2021 Toronto. Interested parties can buy tickets to the whole event or to individual sessions.
Dori Turnstall “The Future of Design is Decolonized”
The public intellectual, design anthropologist, and dean of Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will open the event with much-needed repartee on the colonial structures that have and continue to drive much thinking about design. In a discipline that is overwhelmingly white, it’s important to diversify thinking and learn lessons from critical theory, and it’s heartening to see this topic taking the lead.
Monday May 10 11 a.m. EST (Online)
“Home for Humanity” with IKEA
After a few years’ hiatus, IKEAa is back at IDS sponsoring this robust panel that will cover topics from affordable housing and circular economies to sustainable materials. Johanna Fabrin of SPACE10 joins Alicia Carroll and Akanksha Deo Sharma of IKEA to address the need for global thinking when it comes to design and the problems of housing the species.
Wednesday, May 12. 9 a.m. EST (Online)
Equitable Recovery Post Pandemic
This talk, between Zahra Ebrahim, co-founder of Monumental, and Alex Bozikovic of the Globe and Mail, will revisit the much-discussed future of the city in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many view this recovery from an all-hands-on-deck perspective, and design in will play an important role. This keynote aims to show us in what way.
Thursday, May 13. 11 a.m. EST (Online)
“The Future of Technology and Interdisciplinary Design”
Suhair Khan of Google’s Strategic Projects division and Tomos Lewis of Monocle discuss the intersection of creativity, culture, and design. The tech giant has been at the centre of conversations about emergent technologies, so it makes sense that these inputs are included. Technology should be at the centre of any conversation about design, and here the conversation should go \to the heart of some of the biggest questions concerning thinkers in technology and design today.
Tuesday, May 11. 9 a.m. EST (Online)
“Evolution | Revolution”
This talk, featuring Natalie Telewiak, a principal at Michael Green Architecture, will get into the ramifications of the much-discussed potential of using mass timber in architectural projects. Mass timber, a technology that uses binding methods to create wood as strong as metal and concrete, is picking up steam, and these thinkers are at the centre. Here, Telewiak’s talk will be a great primer for anyone interested in learning about this technology as well as those who have been following the trend for the last decade.
Wednesday, May 12. 11 a.m. EST (Online)