Behind the Scenes of Prototype @ IDSwest 2014

Prototype at IDSwest

Tonight is the opening party for IDSwest, officially kicking off the Interior Design show that will run through the weekend. Here you’ll see the latest and greatest in interior finishes, furniture and lighting as well as a showcase of local designers, seminars, and celebrity speakers.

But what does it actually take to make a show like this come together? If you’re like me, you may labour under the delusion that a convoy of IDSwest branded semi trucks roll in to town, open up their doors and march out a great show. Not quite. 

Although the large vendor booths are traveling set-ups that work like a well-oiled machine, many of the booths and displays at the show are conceived, designed, and built by teams right here in Vancouver.  Prototype is one such feature at this year’s show. Headed up by my good friend Julie Miller of Creative Shift Studio, Prototype is a showcase and competition for professional designers and students presenting both to-market and conceptual works. Julie and her group of volunteers (that’s right everyone is volunteering!) organized the entries, gathered the judges (Brent Comber, Omar Arbel & Bertjan Pot), implemented the 2-stage jurying of the entries, designed the booth to display the finalists, sourced all the materials, and implemented the build-out. Needless to say, they’ve been a busy group!

You can see all twelve finalists and read more about the jury panel and the sponsors of the event here.  What I’d like to focus on is the people behind the scenes; the design team. Julie, along with Aleem Kassam of Kalu Interiors, Andrew Barker of AJ Barker Designs, and Fiona Sinclair of Fiona Sinclair Design Studio are the creative minds behind the Prototype booth. They invited me to sit in on their design meetings and the booth build-out to document their work and find out a little more about them.

Behind the scenes of Prototype: Planning & Design

The team took over Cafe Bica for an early morning strategy session on the design, materials and logistics of setting up the booth.

Prototype Design MeetingPrototype-5 Fiona SinclairPrototype Design MeetingAndrew Barker

Behind the scenes of Prototype: The Build-out

A long day at the Vancouver Convention Center saw the start of the booth construction. For this the Design Team was joined by their contractors; Tony McKillp of Libero Renovations, and Geoff Vetter of Vetterbuilt Homes along with the rest of the Prototype volunteers.

Fiona SinclairPrototype Build TeamPrototype Build TeamPrototype Build Team Aleem Kassam Prototype Build TeamJulie MillerPrototype Build Team Prototype Build Team Julie Miller

Meet the Prototype Design Team

Be sure to swing by the Prototype booth at IDSwest to see the handy work of these four designers.

Julie Miller

 Julie Miller, RID IDC

Company:             Creative Shift Studio
Prototype Role:    Lead curator

What is your favourite part of the design process? Initial collaboration when the ideas flow and the possibilities are endless

Do you have any work rituals or habits that help you focus and get down to biz? A pot of tea, and loud music. Hip hop for drafting. The more gangsta the better.

The first thing I do in the morning: Wish I went to bed earlier the night before (instead of working)
When not at my desk, you can find me: In the dance studio, en pointe.
Pencil or Pen? Pen.
Coffee or tea? Tea- total tea snob.
Daily read/watch/listen: online news, imgur, Facebook (you know you do, too!)
Favourite Vancouver design source: Paper-ya
What you love about it: For my notebook addiction
Vancouver’s design community is: Young. It’s a tight knit group of like-minded people and it’s only getting bigger.

Aleem Kassam

Aleem Kassam

Company:             Kalu Interiors
Prototype Role:    Lead Volunteer

What is your favourite part of the design process? Choosing the finishes. This creative process enables the Designer to formulate a unique interaction between various textures, colours, materials & finishes. The Designer; The Director. The Finishes; The Actors. The Space; The Play. Truly a Production of Form & Function.

Do you have any work rituals or habits that help you focus and get down to biz? I’m very visual, as most designers are. Therefore, laying everything out! From floorplans, to materials, to concept images, etc… this allows me to map everything out physically which can easily be transferred into a concrete vision!

The first thing I do in the morning: COFFEE!
When not at my desk, you can find me: Shopping, I do it best.
Pencil or Pen?  Pen, I live without regret.
Coffee or tea?  Coffee & Coffee.
Media that I read/watch/listen to almost daily: Twitter/ Instagram/ News 980
Favourite Vancouver design source: My Office. It’s Hoarders “The Design Edition”
What you love about it: Endless possibilities & inspiration at my fingertips!
Vancouver’s design community is: Still making-up it’s mind.

Andrew Barker

Andrew Barker

Company name:  AJ Barker Design
Prototype Role:    Lead Volunteer

What is your favourite part of the design process? Initial meetings with new clients to learn how they live  and explore their dreams for their home. This builds a rapport that’s critical to the success of a project while providing foundational information that informs the design process. With this in place, I’m always excited to sit down and sketch out design concepts. No matter how many times I do this, I always feel like a kid in a candy shop dreaming up new designs.

Do you have any work rituals or habits that help you focus and get down to biz? Rain or shine I like to go for a fast bike ride or run to clear my head, then settle in to my work with tea and Chocolate Arts brownies.

The first thing I do in the morning: Take my dog Cooper for a walk on the seawall then check out design and real estate blogs to get inspired for the day.
When not at my desk, you can find me: Hiking the local mountains with my dog and partner… or drinking wine on a patio.
Pencil or Pen? Does a computer count? Pen day to day. Pencil for sketching.
Coffee or tea?  Tea (chocolate mint rooibos)
Media that I read/watch/listen to almost daily: CBC radio – especially Q with Jian Ghomeshi
Favourite Vancouver design source: 18 Karat
What you love about it: It has a great collection of modern furnishings and accessories that are relevant to West Coast design and architecture. With a constantly changing collection there’s always something new and interesting.
Vancouver’s design community is: reconnecting with its West Coast roots and celebrating innovative local design with a distinct regional aesthetic.

Fiona Sinclair

Fiona Sinclair

Company name:  Fiona Sinclair Design Studio
Prototype Role:    Lead Volunteer

What is your favourite part of the design process? Thinking about and refining the balance between all the design elements and constraints to come up with the single best solution.

Do you have any work rituals or habits that help you focus and get down to biz? Trolling Pinterest to get inspired by good design from all around the world.

The first thing I do in the morning: Turn on the espresso machine
When not at my desk, you can find me: Cooking, hiking, yoga, Whistler
Pencil or Pen?  Computer
Coffee or tea?  1 x latte a day
Media that I read/watch/listen to almost daily: Jimmy Fallon
Favourite Vancouver design source: The natural environment
What you love about it: Harmony
Vancouver’s design community is: Underrated

I’ll be following up with a post on the final booth as well as the winners of the Prototype showcase.  See you at the show!

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