4 Inspiring Speakers to Check Out at IDSWest Vancouver

4 Inspiring Speakers to Check Out at IDSWest Vancouver

The 11th annual furniture and design expo, taking place September 24 to 27, features an impressive list of guest speakers, including furniture designer Roy McMakin and Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes. Azure’s editor, Catherine Osborne, will be there.

IDSWest is a showcase of local design talent, but it also brings to Vancouver some top-tier international architects and designers whose work shares a West Coast sensibility. Here are some of the speakers we’ll be checking out.


Roy McMakin of Domestic Architecture
Seattle/San Diego architect and custom furniture maker Roy McMakin is reluctant to call what he makes “furniture,” “art,” or “multiples,” or anything else you might be inclined to label it. However you describe his often colourful pieces that mix up various homespun styles, they definitely have an emotional pull. McMakin will discuss his unconventional approach to making objects, furniture, interiors, and architecture and why he became disillusioned with the design industry. Sept. 25, 1:30pm, Gray Conversations Stage.


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Jason Miller of Roll & Hill
Roll & Hill of Brooklyn, New York, is one of the most cutting-edge lighting companies in North America. Its success has much to do with its founder Jason Miller, himself a master of light. Miller’s Endless pendant series consists of horizontal tubes and elbows that can be configured to extend for many metres, creating eye-catching tunnels of dramatic illumination. He will be talking about the Brooklyn design scene where he lives and works. Sept. 25, 11am, Gray Conversations Stage.


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Kirsten Murray of Olson Kundig Architects
In 1999, Olson Kundig Architects built Rolling Huts, a series of small guest houses in Washington’s Methow Valley that sit atop giant metal wheels so they could be moved around as needed. We have been fascinated with the Seattle studio’s work ever since. Principal and owner Kirsten Murray will talk about the firm’s origins and core values, which are rooted in Northwest contemporary traditions of craft and contextualism. Sept. 25, 12pm, Caesarstone Stage


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Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach
Design Within Reach (along with Dwell magazine) has been instrumental in bringing back a profound love for North American design, especially for the aesthetic charms of the post-modern era, à la Charles and Ray Eames. Its founder Rob Forbes, who established the company in 1999, has since moved on to other pursuits, including the launch of Public, a San Francisco store and online retailer of city bikes. Sept. 25, 8:30am, Caesarstone Stage

Azure’s editor, Catherine Osborne, will also be part of a panel of design editors invited to discuss ways to get your work published in magazines. The talk is geared toward architects and interior designers looking to find out how to photograph their designs and develop effective outreach strategies. Sept. 25, 4pm, Gray Conversations Stage.

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