Daring designers celebrated with IDSwest exhibit "The New Frontier"

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The New Frontier feature at IDSwest was created by Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) to spotlight the works of prominent designers from B.C., Washington and Oregon.

The exhibit will run at BAM until August 16, and will be re-installed at IDSwest afterwards. The New Frontier focuses on those who are breaking barriers and challenging established practices, all the while giving a glimpse of the future of design and distribution, where mass-manufactured goods are displaced by demand for products made of lasting, repurposed or sustainable materials.

“These designers are making their mark on regional design, and as a result, are creating a ‘look’ that’s unique to the Pacific Northwest,” says Nicola Humphrey of Heth PR.

“Instead of having products made in a factory overseas, which has become the established norm, these people are keeping as much production as possible within the region.”

For many, the entire process is done close to home. The products are handcrafted and use natural materials, which create one-of-a-kind, well-made, pieces that are often sustainably sourced and built to last a lifetime.

Locally sourced materials (NathanielWillson)

Locally sourced materials (NathanielWillson)

The IDSwest feature will include some of the works from the BAM exhibition, including Standard Socket and urbancase; Rason Jens; Iacoli & McAllister; Phloem; fruitsuper design; Caine Heintzman/ANDlight; Knauf & Brown, as well as Vancouver-based designers Lukas Peet and Omer Arbel.

Designs are generally minimalist, with sleek geometric shapes. People can expect to see these designers incorporating a lot of natural materials like wood and metal.

This is IDSwest’s 11th year, and each that passes continues to outdo the last by enlightening guests with new products and industry knowledge, and creating awareness of the next big designers and latest trends.

“We always invite incredible speakers, whether they are famous designers, TV personalities or online influencers, and most talks—like this year’s with Jonathan Adler—are included in the price of admission, which makes it an incredible deal,” says Humphrey. “Whether you’re in the design business or are looking for ideas to transform your home, IDSwest is a resource to discover well-crafted, thoughtful design, and creative inspiration that you can incorporate into real life.”

Designs can be used in everyday life (CharlieSchuck)

Designs can be used in everyday life (CharlieSchuck)

Some trends at this year’s IDSwest include the art of collaboration.

“There will be lots of talent from Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle. To be able to make things the likes of which you will see at IDSwest, you need to be able to collaborate to have access to skill sets and materials,” Humphrey says. “You’ll notice carpet designers collaborating with pattern designers, artists collaborating with furniture makes, lighting with product designers, etc. Collaboration is a real overlying characteristic of the West too.”

Top three things to expect at IDSwest

1. Informative guest speaker

Jonathan Adler will be speaking on September 26 – his talk is included in the admission price ($12 in advance), so it’s not to be missed.

2. Inspiration for real life

Open Studio is sure to inspire with 10′ x 10′ installations created on the theme “Workspace.” The place where you spend your workday should be functional as well as beautiful. Open Studio will offer surprising ideas to make a small area look better and work smarter for you.

3. Collaboration

IDSwest is collaborating with the influential website Design Milk on The LA Exchange. Design Milk is inviting some of the most exciting designers from Los Angeles to showcase their best new products. Check out everything from furniture and lighting to textiles and wall murals.


IDSwest runs from September 24 to 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Advance tickets and weekend passes are available now online at reduced rates, and full-price tickets will be available at the door during IDSwest.

For more information, visit www.idswest.com.

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Nicolle Hodges Journalist/Reporter for VancityBuzz, Editor of @Valley_Buzz, Freelance Journalist Black Press and CTV Vancouver Promotions Host. Follow my journey on Instagram: @nicolledoubleL
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