Interior Design Show Vancouver (IDS) kicks off today, and€”like most things happening in the world right now€”it looks a little different than normal.

Instead of a central, days-long event with main stage talks and exhibits from international designers, for 2020 the IDS team has pivoted to a more decentralized celebration of design, mixing digital events with smaller, in-person satellite experiences. (Check out our top picks for IDS Vancouver 2020 here.)

For anyone who’s felt panicked or overwhelmed at all of life’s changes or restrictions, it’s a relief to stumble into one of these off-site happenings in particular: a collaborative experiential design piece from Laura Melling (LM Studio) and Alyssa Lewis (Studio Block) they’ve titled ‘Wonderment.’

Together, the Vancouver-based spatial designers€”who typically are faced with more practical briefs for their residential and commercial clients€”transformed a vacant Low Tides Property unit on East Hastings and Campbell into an escape from the world.

“There’s a sense of calm and stillness,” says Lewis, of the gallery-like room that brings the outside in. Here, a rock garden installation and towering pine trees are staggered amid gauzy curtains of white fabric. Perforated aluminum benches from Green Theory pepper the room: each encases a large rock, a representation of the nature at the heart of the city. It’s spacious. It’s soothing. It’s a place€”even with your mask on€”to just breathe.

We’ve all spent enough time in parks this spring to appreciate the power of nature on our mental health. And as the weather turns, it’s nice to know there’s a chance to access crunchy rocks, fresh pines, and natural light without braving the rain. Seeing these natural elements indoors is also a chance to view them in a new context. “It’s a deconstructed version of nature,” explains Melling. The crunch of the rocks under your feet echoes through the vast space, a surreal experience in an indoor environment. 

“Bringing it all indoors de-contextualizes it,” says Lewis. “When you see rocks as you’re walking down the street, you’re not necessarily forced to experience the crunchiness and tactility. Here, it kind of focuses you as the viewer and person experiencing it.” In a gallery setting, simple rocks and plants get a chance to, as Lewis says, “sing on their own.”

Tonight is the ticketed-access opening night, but October 2 through 8, the space will be open for drop-in visits (though please bring your mask) throughout the day.

October 1 – 8, 2020
852 E. Hasting St., Suite 200 
Register here or learn more about live micro-events at