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Five Questions for: IDS Vancouver Director Jody Phillips

THERE’S NEVER A DULL MOMENT FOR INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW (IDS) VANCOUVER DIRECTOR JODY PHILLIPS, WHO EVEN AS WE WRITE THIS, IS BUSY PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON THE FOUR-DAY DESIGN FAIR, HAPPENING SEPTEMBER 20-23. “We are a tiny team and I am overflowing with enthusiasm and inspiration,” Phillips says. “Editing my creative mind is always tricky and sometimes costs myself and team some sleepless nights throughout the year and certainly leading up to the fair.”

But it all certainly pays off. This year at IDS, expect cutting-edge exhibitions along with some of the biggest names in the business such as Karim Rashid and Brian Gluckstein, offsite events, and parties that won’t quit. New this year, an installation from NYC-based Snarkitecture, and The Mix, which pairs two LA-based designers with Vancouver-based Hinterland Design and Ben Barber Studio. And don’t forget to check out what’s happening on the GRAY Stage

Read on for more about Phillips, including what she finds most rewarding about helming IDS and what her 5-year-old self thought would be the ideal job.

How did you earn your first dollar?

I rode around my suburban Ontario neighbourhood with my friends and sisters, dressed as clowns on roller skates (not to be confused with rollerblades) selling popcorn for 25 cents a bag.

What’s been your biggest challenge as director of IDS?

Juggling and curating my self-inflicted busy schedule and grand ideas is by far my biggest challenge.

And what’s the most rewarding?

It’s a bit of a tightrope act and my response varies week to week, but raising three kids while conceiving of features and collaborating with diverse designers brings me the most happiness, and therefore, my own personal success. Talk to me next week, when I may have forgotten to make my kids lunches or missed a meeting, but this week, I’m killin’ it. Impacting the region’s overall design appreciation and fluency is a responsibility I’ve given myself. I do see growth, engagement, and diversity happening in and around the floor of the fair, in our programing off site and on, and within the region’s design community at large. Baby steps, but success nonetheless.

What three words describe you best?

The IDS team has offered up the word tenacious. I’m also collaborative, but am quite tired—this being a couple weeks out from rolling out the week that we prepare all year for.

What did you want to be at age 5 and why?

I thought working on Sesame Street in some creative capacity would have been the ideal job. Some of those skits were/are so inspired. Okay, I wasn’t 5 when I had this revelation, but I wasn’t much older. I think I carried that aspiration to conceive of skits, design costumes and make up silly jingles right through high school, actually.


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