Interior Design Show Toronto explores "Design for a Complex World"

Promotion: how light technology can be used to prevent virus transmission and the impact of neighbourhoods on public health were among the discussions as part of this year's Interior Design Show (IDS23).

IDS23 celebrated its 24th year with talks from industry experts that explored how designers are adapting to an increasingly complex world.

IDS23 took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from 19 to 22 January 2023 and its theme was called "Moving Parts: Design for a Complex World", which spotlighted the latest design trends in Canada and throughout the world.

The show focused on how designers are adapting and responding to the changing ways of living and working, including how they are sourcing, producing and distributing products in an ever-changing landscape.

Speakers at IDS23 sitting underneath a large screen as part of a presentation
IDS23 included over twenty conference sessions, such as Dezeen Trade Talks, which was chaired by Dezeen US editor, Ben Dreith

The event featured over 200 exhibitors, 40 seminars and 21 keynotes, including Dezeen Trade Talks, which was chaired by Dezeen US editor, Ben Dreith.

Dezeen Trade Talks featured a panel named The Future of Toronto: The Next Five Years, and speakers included co-founder of Toronto-based architecture studio Partisans, Pooya Baktash; founder and principal at design studio Unison Group, Sabine Grimes; CEO and co-founder of Monumental, Zahra Ebrahim; and architecture critic at Canadian news platform The Globe and Mail, Alex Bozikovic.

The talk explored what the future of Toronto might look like, including the opportunities and changes that need to be made to get there.

"The key context for understanding Toronto is that the city region is growing faster than anywhere in the Americas or in Europe," said Bozikovic. "That's being driven entirely by immigration. This is a fantastic opportunity for the city because we are going to be bringing in a lot of people with outside perspectives and a tremendous amount of talent."

"Making room for all of those people to live and allowing the City of Toronto to evolve in its physical form I think is going to be a very big question. We have a very long way to go towards achieving the political and regulatory change, and then ultimately figuring out what we want a denser city to look like."

Founding partner of design and architecture studio WXY, Claire Weisz also spoke at the event

Also included in the Dezeen Trade Talks was a talk by the founding partner of design and architecture studio WXY, Claire Weisz who discussed "designing for complexity".

Weisz emphasised the importance of neighbourhoods and their direct impact on public health. She also discussed the urgency of open conversations dedicated to housing issues – such as what affordability means today and equal access to education while focusing on the cities of Toronto and New York.

"Places are complex," said Weisz. "And complexity can be an asset – not something to design our way out of."

"This is important in terms of the climate crisis we're in the middle of," Weisz continued. "And the real value we have is in the concept of neighbourhood – our neighbourhoods and where we live are big indicators of public health."

Claire Weisz speaking at IDS23
Weisz emphasised the importance of neighbourhoods

During another IDS23 talk, Industrial designer Todd Bracher discussed his product design and engineering experience in addition to examining what the "future of the home" might look like, and how he is using light as a design tool.

In his talk Bracher discussed how using light technology can help tackle a number of issues, including how it can kill viruses such as Covid-19, and how his studio Better Lab has developed glasses that help support individuals with the eye disease Myopia.

Industrial designer Todd Bracher also spoke at the event

Among the other discussions at IDS23 were a number of trade talks by Azure magazine, featuring discussions with material and interaction designer Bonnie Hvillum and global design strategist and founder of Decantropy, Ian Rolston.

Also included was a panel called From the Ground Up: Designing the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which included the founder of Omar Gandhi Architects, Omar Gandhi; visual artist Jordan Bennett; and founding partner of KPMB Architects, Shirley Blumberg.

People at IDS23 looking at an exhibition
The show also included a number of exhibitions

The show also included an exhibition created by design studio PICNIC design, which spotlighted a number of cutting-edge products that aim to provide solutions to the challenges the design industry has and is facing.

Also as part of IDS23 was the launch of a new feature called Select, which presented a number of products from global brands and designers, including La Manufacture, By Interiors, Expormim and Inscape. Additional events included Studio North, Prototype and The District.

To learn more about IDS23, visit the show's website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for IDS23 as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.