Gallery: The Best of The Toronto International Design Festival


There have been many design events circling around the big Interior Design Show in Toronto for years, but this is the first time they have all been rolled together into one big festival. The normally snowy January was springlike, without a flake to be seen. This TreeHugger was going to cover it from start to finish, but was completely outclassed by flying squads from Mocoloco and Designboom, so this post will round up the best of all the coverage from the show.

The fun began with an extraordinary conference about design in a world without oil. Jesse Ashlock, the last editor of the late lamented ID magazine, coined the best phrase of the event, saying that we face a choice in our future, that of Greed vs self denial or restraint. Or, as Ashlock so cleverly summarized it: Gecko vs Eco.

More at Treehugger: Jesse Ashlock Says We Have Two Options: “Gecko or Eco”

The consensus was clear that we have a real problem. We consume one cubic mile of oil ever year, and to replace the energy from all that oil we would have to build four dams the size of the Three Gorges Dam, 52 nuclear power plants, or 104 coal fired power plants. All the Tesla roadsters in the world won’t make much of a difference. I summarized the morning in Oil is too important to burn in cars.

Designboom got great interviews with Fritz Haeg of Edible Estates fame, as well as Bruce Mau, who doesn’t want to live in a world without oil. Or Karim Rashid.

Mocoloco caught the Radiant Dark show, put together by MADE’s Julie Nicholson and Shaun Moore. Sabine writes that “This year’s edition is entitled Assets & Values, a reflection of what is really important during these trying economic times. So when a venue became available in the very heart of Toronto’s financial district, the show and its concept fell into place.” More at Radiant Dark 10: Assets & Values

The Brothers Dressler presented Bottle Lights, stating that “Found bottles from the turn of the century are a reflection of good times past.”

The anchor of Design Week is the Interior Design Show, where the most (in fact only) interesting “concept space” was Jason MacIsaac‘s Rolling Hills. Sabine at Mocoloco writes:

Three conical structures of different heights are connected by a passageway. They are open at the top, which further heightens the feeling of floating, yet being quite grounded. Different hard woods have been used, and it is difficult to keep from touching the surface.

I was preoccupied with student work, some of which I found to be the highlights of the show, like this flatpack chair held together by rope, made by Nita Chakravarty of OCAD. More at Student Work Steals the Show. There was also Studio North, that had a lot of good new upcoming designers to watch. More at IDS10: the Young Creatives.

Designboom got some great posts up from the show:

Christian Giroux and Daniel Young: Andersson
Bruno Billio: Vegetal Sociale

I must confess that I did not make it to Come Up To My Room at the Gladstone Hotel, always one of the most interesting events. But Harry at Mocoloco did, and you can see his coverage here.

+ Toronto Interior Design Show


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