IIDEX/NeoCon 2009

September 28th, 2009


On Thursday we popped over to IIDEX/NeoCon, a trade show/conference “for the design, construction and management of the built environment” (the quote is there because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how to describe it). From our view point it was definitely a show for tradespeople, so there wasn’t much to report on unless you are super psyched about corporate office furniture. But, that’s why we’re here…to suss out what is going on so that you don’t have to.


buungi was at IDS, but we accidentally neglected to feature them in our roundup, which is hilarious because buungi won the “best collection award” for Studio North at IDS way back in February. Masoud has been producing his lights made-to-order but he’s shopping around for a manufacturer so he can get back to exclusively designing (based on his website, you can buy his lights through Eurolight).


Titled Light Balance, a plate of powder coated steel is held in balance by a cantilevered acrylic light bar.


This display of pendant lights immediately caught our attention. Created by Calgary-based Christiaan+Planck, the Sentry Pendant System were designed so that they can be completely disassembled into their individual components, making them completely recyclable, as well as interchangeable into nine different styles. They come in white or black and I think they will be available through architectural lighting company LightForm.
Click here to


Keeping on the subject of light, was this art installation by Stephen Knapp, who creates “lightpaintings” by shining a halogen light through pieces of wall-mounted dichroic laminated glass.


I am not too sure what all that means but when I looked close up, it appeared that the individual pieces of glass all appeared to be the same (ie. no coloured coatings) and that he was manipulating the light and the angle of the glass to create different colours like with a prism. Interestingly, Stephen started out as a photographer. I am not surprised.


I was really impressed with MADE‘s presence at the show (displays and in the official guide). They had an amazing booth that had a lot of presence, where they showcased a lot of the objects that they initially introduced at their Radiant Dark event back in February. Back then, a lot of these objects were prototypes, but now they are in production and sold through their store. It was so great to see how well MADE is doing, because they really work hard to encourage and acknowledge Canadian design(ers).


We caught sight of what appears to be a Brothers Dressler piece, but it wasn’t clearly marked so we are assuming this due to its proximity to other BD pieces.


Putting discarded (or if you prefer, upcycled) plastic bottles to good use, perfect for a balcony garden.


A while back I looked into ordering carpet tiles from FLOR but I was hesitant because it was hard to really see what they are like through a photo online. Of course, the irony of this is that the above photo is not going to help you much, but I have to say I really did like the geometric pattern of the black/grey/white tiles and the quality was such that it was pretty seamless, not like it was a bunch of tiles put together to make one.


Montreal’s Wall you need is Love had some pretty snazzy pictorial wall hangings like the draped window above or the forest in the background.


Our obvious favorite was the massive birch tree panels in the Teknion zone.


John is obsessed with concrete, so we stopped and had a chat at Concrete Elegance‘s booth.  We all know that the process of acquiring the materials to make concrete is terrible for the environment so since 2006, Concrete Elegance has been working to make their concrete have the smallest environmental footprint as possible. Some features include: 77% recycled materials (like the unrecyclable broken glass that ends up in the bottom of your blue bin), 92% Ontario origin ingredients, 30% lighter than concrete and VOC-free.


At our new building, our second floor apartment walks out onto an ugly expanse of rooftop that we are dying to cover with a green roof. ZinCo Canada Green Roof Systems had a booth so we finally got some much needed information to see if this dream could be a possibility at some point down the road. For your information, your roof needs to be able to hold about 15-20 pounds per square foot and the most simple system they sell (I think it’s the one above) is $15/sq foot, which includes materials, installation AND plants. Of course if your roof is mid-to late in its lifespan you may also have to invest in a new roof BUT that roof will never have to be replaced again. Now you know.


Wish you lived in a century home with exposed brick but don’t? Well, Century Architexture Inc. can help you out with their selection of brick wall-coverings. Although they are only a fraction in depth of what real bricks are, they do replicate the look and feel of old bricks. I am digging their white brick wall…


And last but not least, we met with Maria from New Wall Inc. to check out the selection of brand new Marimekko wallpaper she will be distributing! And they are fab. Watch out for it in specialty stores in Toronto.

Whew, another trade show and I am just as tired now as I was the first time I walked through it.

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