Now that the holiday season is well behind us, we have a chance at Flynn Battaglia Architects to reflect upon the last couple months of road trips, family visits, and too many calories ingested.
One of the highlights from December was our trip to Toronto to attend the three-day International Interior Design Expo (IIDEX). FBA staff members Chris Less, Michael Meyer, and Chris Ortloff joined a group of ten other local architects and boarded an early bus for the drive to the other side of Lake Ontario, arriving mid-morning at the luxurious and historic Royal York Hotel. Needless to say, it’s a hotel fit for the queen – literally! (All our travel and accommodations were organized by local architect and friend of the firm, Max Willig. Thanks, Max!)
No snow in sight, downtown Toronto and the CN Tower lit up.
The impressive lobby at the Royal York Hotel.
After we’d unloaded and checked in, we walked the short two blocks west to Toronto’s Metro Convention Center for the Expo.
Chris checks out the huge indoor swing.
A few of the most memorable presentations from the expo:
Easily the most inspiring, a keynote address by Terrapin Bright Green on the topic of Biophilic Design presented their paper, “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design”. The paper and the address highlight the work Terrapin has done to establish parameters that reinforce what many of us already innately understand: that access to nature and its patterns create comfortable and healthy environments for humans as organisms, rather than units of performance. We have already begun to integrate some of these principles into our designs, with promising affect. Mike Meyer has been asking about installing a waterfall in our office ever since!
14 Patterns of Biophilic Design
Symmons Industries’ booth featured the technology they use to turn customers’ 3D models of plumbing fixtures into reality, with 3D prints of prototypes on the shelf next to their finished chromed counterparts. They’ll accept your digital file and make a run for your custom project. Needless to say, this is not the most economical option, but certainly one of the coolest. Disney Resorts used this method to put Mickey Mouse ears on their faucet handles. Incidentally, if you’d like to have those in your own home, they keep all the files and models in their library for purchase.
A 3D print of one of Symmons’ prototypes
The first talk we attended was a walkthrough of the interior of Canada House, that country’s representative home in London. A redesign of the interior in recent years emphasized bringing Canadian art into all areas of the building, with themed rooms representing art from a different province. Especially interesting were the rugs installed in each room, taken from paintings from Canadian artists and translated into fabulous woven enlargements, some as large as 20 feet long!
This is a rug!
The first night, those of us lucky enough to get past the doorman were treated to a cocktail party at Steelcase’s downtown penthouse showroom. Their ideas on workspace push beyond physical furniture design into quality of life. Steelcase had set up several multimedia demonstration stations at the party that focused on environmental qualities such as sounds and noise, body position while at work, and brain function. I now have their “Office Chair Yoga” booklet at my desk – and I use it!
Steelcase cleaned up their office pretty well after the party.
IIDEX 2016 will be held again in Toronto’s Metro Convention Center, November 30 – December 1. Watch for registration to open soon. We’d love to see some friendly faces there again next year.