Toronto International Design Festival launches next week

From January 24-30, 2011, Toronto becomes the pre-eminent design destination as the 2nd annual Toronto International Design Festival – produced by the 13th annual Interior Design Show (IDS) – welcomes international design luminaries and celebrates creativity with bold and inventive cultural programming. On par with well established design fairs in New York, Miami, and London, international designer labels are choosing Toronto and IDS as the launching pad for the North American market.

“From IDS, to the Conversations in Design symposium on crowdsourcing and creativity, to the design-oriented cultural events happening throughout the city, we are thrilled to bring design to the forefront of minds, both here and abroad. Our events have been instrumental in the international recognition of Toronto as a design city,” says MMPI Vice President Shauna Levy. 


As the centre point of the TIDF, the Interior Design Show/IDS11 offers a snapshot of everything new in contemporary design, handpicked from around the globe. Celebrate the ingenuity of an eclectic mix of over 300 emerging and established designers; gain insight into some of the most creative minds that are shaping our cultural landscape today in stimulating talks and panel discussions; explore installations that will set your imagination free. Get ready to expand your mind and delve into all things design.

Design luminaries from the four corners of the earth assemble in Toronto to inspire and enlighten in lively and thought provocative talks. London’s interactive installation guru Jason Bruges, Washington’s dapper designer Darryl Carter – whose interiors have graced the pages of Elle Décor and Metropolitan Home, Pritzker Prize-winning Los Angeles-based architect Thom Mayne, and homegrown stars like HGTV’s Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe and writer/filmmaker Douglas Coupland all take the stage at this year’s show.  

The latest addition to this all-star lineup is Italian-born London-based textile goddess Allegra Hicks, head of the international luxury lifestyle brand of the same name which features fashion, home and interior collections. Known for her stunning textiles, Hicks is credited as reinventing the kaftan with Vogue magazine touting her as “Queen of Kaftans.” The designer seamlessly crosses between the fashion and design world, finding inspiration in both and has recently released a book entitled An Eye for Design. She will be interviewed by The Globe & Mail style scribe Amy Verner as part of the Interior Design Show’s GlobeStyle Saturday.

Avenue Road introduces the latest additions from celebrated Parisian designer Jean-Marie Massaud’s award-winning collaboration with Italian luxury glass company Glas Italia. The designer’s Haiku screen is a stunning sample of true technical prowess. Made from tempered smoked glass, the screen features an engraved low relief design, providing dimension, depth and intrigue.

Hitting the trend of what is old is new again, premier home furnisher Elte displays their Second Life rug line. These upcycled traditional rugs have been stripped of their original colour and then overdyed in bright colours.  Elte has furnished some of the top hotels in the world, including the Ritz Carlton chain and the Taj Hotel in Boston and New York.

Ceramic Tiles of Italy comes to Canada for the first time. Brought here by the Italian Trade Commission, Italian ceramic tile will be on display in a spectacular multi-exhibitor experience, featuring the latest trends. Legendary Italian ceramicist company Richard Ginori also uses IDS11 as their launching pad to the North American market, introducing items like the tongue-in-cheek series Broken Caffé, a Frankenstein-like porcelain featuring a broken stitches pattern.

Brooklyn young guns Rich Brilliant + Willing’s Newtility light combines form and function by offering a design-savvy lamp with built-in utility outlets. This design simplifies life by removing the need to search for an outlet to plug in your latest gadget. Rich Brilliant + Willing was named one of the the “Top 40” designers by I.D. magazine in January 2009, and was also named an Avant Guardian by Surface magazine in November of the same year.

Concrete is one of the most extensively used materials today. It makes our roads, divides our highways, and holds up our homes. It is commonplace in industrial usage, but can it also be a thing of beauty? Toronto’s Jean Willoughby thinks so. Her design, Concrete Cabinet, debuts in Prototype, an IDS11 exhibit that celebrates innovation in design and presents works by independent designers that are not currently in production.

Back for its second year, the Toronto International Design Festival (TIDF) is a week-long design extravaganza. Venues throughout the city paint the town red and host events including animated debates and discussions, imaginative exhibits, engaging symposiums and awe-inspiring fairs.

Events include:

* The Interior Design Show: Held at the Metro Convention Centre from January 27-30, is Canada’s largest contemporary design show and an internationally recognized design fair.

* Conversations in Design: The 2nd annual symposium tackles the timely subject of crowdsourcing or open source design. Join the conversation as 10 international thinkers debate on whether crowdsourcing helps or hinders creativity.

* Neighbourhood Maverick: From January 29-30, Harbourfront Centre explores the neighbourhoods of Toronto, how their existing architecture defines them, and what happens when new modern architecture is inserted into the landscape. 

* Come Up To My Room: The Gladstone Hotel is taken over by artists and designers who put their personal touches on a limited space, inviting viewers into their imaginations.

Celebrating its 13th year, the Interior Design Show/IDS11 returns January 27-30, 2011, for a 4-day celebration of design in Canada’s creative hub, Toronto. Over 300 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors will explore the 175,000-square-foot platform offering the widest spectrum of design, brought together as a unique and groundbreaking show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

For more information on the Toronto International Design Fair, please visit For more information on the Interior Design Show, please visit