Starting tomorrow, Toronto’s design nuts have plenty to salivate over as the 2012 Interior Design Show officially gets underway. Pre-show events begin today and the convention runs until Sunday, January 29, as IDS transforms the Metro Toronto Convention Centre into a microcosm of the design world, which means not only boldface international names (well, boldface in the right circles) but also players on the local scene. There’s an overwhelming list of exhibitors alone, but there are also screenings, seminars and talks to keep you beyond-occupied. Here are a few highlights, all held at the Centre, worth keeping your eye on this weekend.
Opening Night Party
IDS’s opening night party gives an early taste of everything happening throughout the weekend, with a headlining DJ set from DJ Karim Rashid (also exhibiting later), opening remarks from the International Guest of Honour (and probably the biggest visiting name) architecture, graphic and industrial designer Piero Lissoni, an auction of 20 Julian chairs by Magis (each redesigned by a different participant) and numerous additional previews. You can also get a more literal taste of some edibles and potables from Wish, Burger Shoppe Quality Meats, Belvedere Vodka and many more. Plus, there’s entertainment from Stomp, So You Think You Can Dance and … Rob James from McMaster & James (apparently, he’s still around!). Thurs. Jan. 26, $60
Conversations in Design
A semi-affiliated single-day symposium, Conversations in Design collects twelve of the more celebrated and, hopefully, wise IDS guests under the buzzwordy heading “Trailblazers and Trendspotters.” There’s an educational bent to the event, so come ready to learn from big design figures like the aforementioned Karim Rashid, who’s created over 3,000 designs in 35 countries, and Claus Sendinger, the man behind Design Hotels, the company responsible for many of the über-hip hotels in far-off utopias that you always wish you could visit. Thurs. Jan. 26, 255 Front St. W., $125 to $195
What’s a festival without a film component? Between Friday and Saturday, IDS will supplement its exhibitors with a programme of eight documentaries that range in subject matter from the painting of Donald Wexler to design icons Charles and Ray Eames to mid-century Palm Springs architecture. Needless to say, you can’t find any of this esoteric stuff on Netflix. Fri. Jan. 27 and Sat. Jan. 28, $15 for each film, $45 for a one-day pass.
Of course, there’s also the exhibitors themselves, crowding every inch of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and offering a chance to catch the newest contemporary furniture, lighting and design products from Paris, Milan, Copenhagen , Stockholm, New York and, naturally, Toronto. The show is open to the public on Sat. Jan. 28 and Sun. Jan. 29. With over 300 Canadian and International exhibitors attending in total, it’s impossible to offer any semblance of a rundown, but here are a few bigger things to watch for: the stunning new Audi A5 Cabriolet, DesignGenNext,a forward-looking display of work from Canada’s design schools, and the 2012 Studio North, a gallery-esque installation of custom furniture, lighting, glass, ceramic and textiles from over 60 sleek Canadian and International designers. Sat. Jan. 28 and Sun. Jan. 29, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., $19 to $22 per day
Image courtesy of Shadow becomes White.