Let’s get real: “Interior Design Show” is a bit of a misleading name. Maybe once upon a time IDS Vancouver started off focusing on home decor and furniture (and of course you’ll still find our favourite big brands and local producers showing their stuff on the showroom floor), but in 2019, the event celebrates design in a variety of innovative forms.

Ever curious, we put on our high-vis vests to enter the still-under-construction event space to get a peek at what to expect from this celebration of intersectional (and global!) design in advance of tonight’s opening night party. IDS Vancouver runs through to September 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre€”here’s are a few surprises you’ll find there this year.

New talent on parade

The Prototype exhibit shows off brand new industrial design from local up-and-comers€”from beautiful self-watering plants to looping sculptural lights. Judged by Brent Comber (Brent Comber Originals), Amanda Huynh (assistant professor, Pratt Instutute) and Will Sorrell (managing director, London Bienalle), many of the works will live on in a display as part of Gryphon Musée. 

A playful pop-up shop

Bring some thoughtful design home from the Pocketo pop-up shop. The L.A.-based brand has collaborated with designers and artists from day one for their online retail brand, and will have minimalist bags, quirky hats and statement-making stationery up for grabs.

Sensory overload

Ceasarstone likes to pull out all the stops with its display each year€”we guess when you’ve got your countertop game on lock, you may as well branch out. For 2019, the brand tapped Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang to help frame the kitchen experience in a more thoughtful way via an interactive exhibit called “Seeds.” “Kitchens often look perfect and clean, but they’re also the messiest, most human room of the house,” says Vogelzang. “Things are smashed and cut and killed here.” To explore the journey of food from the earth to our bodies, visitors will wander through ribbon-lined pods as narrated by a seed (naturally) via a personal audio device. Expect smell-scapes, feeding strangers and grinding grains to dust. Luckily there are plenty of sofas on the showroom floor to take a seat afterwards to process what just happened. 

Toast the clever reuse of materials

Measured Architecture teamed up with Unbuilders to design the central bar this year, spotlighting the potential of reclaimed materials by building the entire space out of old chimneys, building paper and rescued chandeliers. You might need a drink as you process the startling stats of what goes to the landfill with a typical demolition, but it’s a powerful, visual wake up call for the construction and design industry (and homeowners thinking of renovating, too). “It’s call to action to think about how to reuse,” says Measured’s Clinton Cuddington.

Food is design, too

Like we said, IDS is more than just nice credenzas: it’s an opportunity to explore design in all its forms. The Edible Futures installation delves into the future of food and the way design may help solve our biggest food security challenges or reframe the way we share a meal. Shockingly realistic “seaweed meat,” dishware made from tempeh and more imaginative creations will spark both conversation and curiosity (and maybe some hunger?). 

Western Canadian makers, represent!

Okay, we’re a little biased, but we think our WL Making It! booth breaks the mould too. Designer Kevin Mitchell of Mitchell Design House and the team at Blackfish Homes have teamed up to curate a display of Western Canada’s top makers, from furniture to neon lights (!) to wallpaper. Come say hi€”and tell us if you’d want to share some seaweed meat together in the future.

IDS Vancouver runs September 26-29, 2019
More info and tickets at vancouver.interiordesignshow.com