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What we saw at IDS Toronto

Thousands showed for the return of IDS Toronto in January 2023, and the producers did not disappoint. In addition to the fantastic exhibits of new products and furnishings on display throughout the show floor, IDS brought in dozens of designers for keynotes and breakout seminars including guest speakers such as Mexico designer Fernando Laposse, who spoke about the potential of humble materials (think corn leaves and loofah) to build more sustainable spaces, and Todd Bracher, the creative director of Humanscale, who shared his strategic approach to design to help Humanscale leverage their unique assets to achieve market growth, while balancing science, wellness and contemporary culture.

award winners standing in front of wood archway
From left: Trevor Kruse, IDC; Joanne Chan, SDI; Will Sorrell, IDS; and Ted Thompson, Twelve Oaks. Photograph courtesy IDS Toronto

GRAY'S pick for

Best of Show

TWELVE OAKS won an IDS23 Best Booth Design Award presented by Dezeen and Azure and captivated the attention of GRAY's team as well. Designed by SDI Design (who also led the design of the GRAY Stage), the exhibit featured a 12-layered, arched entry displaying Twelve Oaks' Gemtec Collection in white oak and American black walnut veneer flooring.

A walk through

the show floor

GRAY chatted with designers and exhibitors while walking the show floor:

GRAY Stage

A huge shout out of gratitude to ARIDO and IDC, who beautifully designed and seamlessly constructed the GRAY Stage and developed programming in partnership with GRAY. The stage hosted talks with Toronto-based designers, decorators, and visionaries about the significance that design has on our future, allowing makers, designers, and collaborators the opportunity to share, and even demonstrate, their ideas live on stage. Thank you also our many guest speakers. See the line up here.

Joanne Chan of SDI Design spearheaded the design and planning of the GRAY Stage and lounge along with Bruce Freeman (SDI Design), Mardi Najafi (Figure 3), Beverley Horii, (IA Interior Architects), Sam Smithers (Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning), Joanne Lam (Picnic Design Inc.), and Jim Sad (Paradigm Architecture + Design Inc.).

Recyclable sonotubes were stacked and interconnected to create an organic, gently flowing stage wall that supported a five-foot LED 'G"sign in the center and a "GRAY" sign to the side, both custom pieces from Yellowpop. Built by mform Construction Group, the stage featured a center round riser and two wing platforms that splayed open like a Swiss Army knife, providing flexible space for any number of stage guests or types of presentations. Chan opted for benches and wheeled stools that allowed the audience to easily adjust where they were sitting for optimal viewing.


The GRAY Stage will return to IDS, stay tuned for programming details

IDS Vancouver, September 21 - 24, 2023


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