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Like many design weeks around the world boldly forging ahead, IDS Vancouver has transitioned its annual showcase into a URL-meets-IRL program. And it’s an ambitious one at that, complete with a wide range of virtual talks and micro events that include showroom visits, studio tours and installations. It’s also providing an evergreen platform for brands and talents through the online IDS 360˚ series, a digital initiative of “Q+As, product launches, and more.” Clearly, there is no shortage of creativity even as the physical fair has pivoted to a hybrid-digital format — for which you can register here — with an extended timeline: It runs from Thursday, October 1 to Thursday, October 8. As for Azure‘s picks, here are five we’re exceptionally excited about:

Virtual Seminar: Natasha Hussein of Super Imaginary

“The natural world is the exact place we need to learn from to exceed our sustainability goals — of developing practices that meet the needs of the present day without compromising on future generations, especially with regard to the use of finite natural resources,” says designer Natasha Hussein, principal at UK collaborative studio Super Imaginary. In this talk, she will explore how designers can use the science of nature – the way birds have colour without pigment or the methods through which trees communicate, for example – to create magical, memorable, sustainable experiences, full of sensuality and aliveness. Friday, Oct 2 at 9AM PST, $20 (IDCEC 1.0 General Hour, AIBC 1 Non-Core LU)

Virtual Seminar: Ben van Berkel and Astrid Piber of UNStudio

Amsterdam’s UNStudio has worked internationally since its inception and has produced a wide range of work – from the Doha Metro Network in Qatar to the Brainport Smart District in its native Netherlands. With a focus on the future, the practice in 2018 founded a sister company, UNSense, an arch-tech company that develops technology and innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for individuals, communities and the planet. In light of the challenges society is facing, Ben van Berkel and Astrid Piber, founder and partner of UNStudio, respectively, will present a talk on the integral and human-centric approach to health, nature, flexibility and technology that have helped to nurture this successful, multi-faceted firm. Tuesday, Oct 6 at 9AM PST, $20 (IDCEC 1.0 General Hour, AIBC 1 Non-Core LU)

Micro Event: The Creative Process with Marie Khouri

On October 8, Vancouver-based sculptor Marie Khouri will host an intimate tour of her private studio, where she will open up her material and maquette exploration space. Born in Egypt and raised in Lebanon, where her childhood was interrupted by the Lebanese Civil War, Khouri has since lived in Spain, Italy and France — where she was classically trained in sculpture at l’École du Louvre in Paris  — before finally settling in Canada. As a result of this worldly experience, she has developed a vast range of cultural and historical influences that drive her work. For instance, one of her most memorable installations, Let’s Sit and Talk, includes sinuous styrofoam furnishings that spell its title in Arabic. (One day only: Thursday, Oct 8. Attendees must pre-register to attend.)

Micro Event: Wonderment

Designed and brought to life by Studio Block x LM Studio (and presented by Green Theory, which also collaborated on new furniture with the two studios), Wonderment is a spatial installation that explores the connection between one’s self and nature. Consisting of two experiences —  the garden and the forest — the intervention leverages a regional material palette to address these bonds. The work of Alyssa Lewis of Studio Block and Laura Melling of LM Studio spans interior design, conceptual styling, product design, photography and art. The pair have produced an extensive body of work both individually and together, but always with a distinct collaborative approach. 852 E. Hasting St., Suite 200. Opening night Oct 1; open to public Oct 2 to 8. Pre-registration requested. 

Micro Event: Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are is a window installation that will occupy the iconic storefront of furniture showroom Inform Interiors at 50 Water Street in the city’s Gastown neighbourhood. It is inspired by a seminar that Canadian architect Omar Gandhi taught at the Yale School of Architecture, which took its influence from Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book. The massive floral and botanical installation, designed and installed by artist Nathalee Paolinelli with Twigs Twisted Botanicals, complements a virtual talk that Gandhi will give on Tuesday, Oct 6 at 4pm PST. 50 Water St. Thursday, Oct 1 to Thursday, Oct 8 (closed Oct 3 & 4)

IDS Vancouver 2020 Gets Virtual – in a Vivid Way

From October 1 to 8, IDS Vancouver returns with an exciting physical-virtual series of events and talks. Here are our top five picks.

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