Woodwork steals the show at IIDEX 2013
IIDEX 2013, Canada's national design and architecture expo and conference took place this past week from September 26th to 27th at the Direct Energy Centre. As most trade shows go, much of the hall was dedicated to trade vendors hawking and demo'ing industrial grade light fixtures, building materials and decorative finishes.
For those interested in local and hand crafted design, the highlights were concentrated to one side of the sprawling show floor where seemingly all the local, young designers congregated.
The Bunkie was one such highlight featuring the full scale prefab structure from Evan Bare, Nathan Buhler and Jorge Torres that is ready to be flat packed and delivered to any remote setting, for on site assembly. The glass encased guest room complete with Murphy bed demonstrated an elegant vision for lakeside living the keeps the wilderness in view at all times (perhaps not ideal in bear country).
The Glamping installation from Mason Studio transformed one lounge into an interactive cardboard forest, complete with inflatable furniture.
For me, the most interesting feature was easily the IIDEX Woodshop, which included a competition element presented and judged (in part) by Ideacious founder Josh Brasse in response to the surplus of Toronto Ash trees headed to the landfill as Emerald Ash Borer beetles devestate the trees across Southern Ontario.
The exhibition tasked 15 local designers with repurposing the wood to create market-ready comercial prototypes. The resulting collection makes for an impressive showcase of hyper-local aesthetics, design, and, the beautiful and soon-to-be-lost resource.
We caught up with Scott Bodaly and Heather Lam of theNDC who unveiled the Ubagaan, a sled cum coffee table designed with a nod towards Toronto winter pastimes and ash wood's naturally bendable properties.
The Brothers Dressler, (who's recent commissions include work for Toronto restaurants Aft and the Drake One Fifty), posed for us with their bent ash wood, Elbow "Ollie" Lounge + Work Chair with optional LED reading light.
The Tawt blanket box from Urban Product offers an elegant and sturdy storage solution that doubles as a night table and shows off the natural character of the wood.
Kevin Armour showed off his sleek, Truss Table featuring steam bent ash legs and woven leather storage under table.
Rob Southcott Studio Works created these Fort York storage units (that to me, look like miniature raised hunting platforms), from wood sourced specifically from around York Region.
This Tufted Walnut bench by Partisans almost looked like pleated leather with its carefully sculpted surface.
All the ash wood products will all be available for purchase through ideacious.com and from some of the designers directly. The collection is set to tour again, so look out for it to pop at Toronto City Hall in the near future.
Photos by Jesse Milns