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IDS Toronto, Canada’s largest design exposition and conference, will return in 2021 with new dates and a hybrid program combining in-person and virtual events. While the marquee show was initially set to take place in January, IDS21 is now scheduled for May 13-16, 2021 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the cancellation and postponement of design events and exhibitions around the world, IDS21’s integration of virtual programming opens up the show to a broader audience — presenting a more inclusive window into the best of the Canadian and global design world.

“In consulting with our community, it became clear that the best way to support design in Canada is to schedule our annual event in the Spring in person with some exciting virtual components,” says Karen Kang, IDS Toronto’s Managing Director and Head of Content. “With the digital fast track that most industries are experiencing, we are very excited to see what innovations will be showcased this year.”

IDS21 will also feature four new conference streams: Business of Design, Sustainability, Innovation & Future Trends and Designing for the Future.

The Business of Design
  • What do you need to build or scale your business in today’s uncertain times? From the latest marketing efforts, business development ideas and crisis management solutions, this conference theme offers practical and tactical strategies to help all businesses continue to thrive in today’s economic environment.
  • IDS21 will highlight thought-leaders with a local and global perspective, focused on sustainable materials, specifying responsibly, designing in the age of climate change, circular economy, high-performance design and resiliency in future projects.
Innovation & Future Trends
  • IDS21 is seeking both big picture thinking and practical ideas for professionals within the built environment. Some topics of interest will include: products, colours, materials, case studies, digital fabrication and future collaborations that firms can adopt in the ever-changing world.
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Designing for The Future
  • How do you design public spaces, buildings, interiors and future cities post-pandemic? From designing for social good, to materials, trends and technologies, this track will cover the ideas, processes and methodologies to help you and your firm design for the future.

In our continuously-evolving situation, IDS Toronto will remain an integral platform for circulating new ideas, products and trends. “The world, as we know it, is forever changed, however IDS21’s purpose remains the same — to bring people together to experience the power of design,” says Kang. “This moment in history is an opportunity to broker global conversations reimagining the future of our society through design. At IDS21 we will build more significant discussions around how design will play a vital part in shaping our future.”

Applications for exhibitors are now open, with a submission deadline of September 15 for next year’s speakers. More information is available via the IDS Toronto website.

IDS Toronto Announces New Program and Schedule for 2021

Canada’s largest design expo and conference returns in May 2021 with a revamped line-up combining virtual and in-person events.

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