Monday, 25 January 2010

The Interior Design Show and Come Up To My Room

I visited the Interior Design show a couple of years back when my friends at Furni Creations were exhibiting this bad boy, among other things. Danijela and I had just bought our house (we hadn't moved in yet), and we toured the exhibition with some interest. I remember enjoying the special installations and the showcase of fancy new stuff, but high-end bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces, and all the rest were not really in our future then. That remains true today, and at this year's IDS, again the most interesting stuff was Studio North (the new design showcase), the prototypes, the student design showcase, and the installation Five Small Rooms.

It's not all great, but a lot of it is very interesting. Nothing was as thought-provoking as Radiant Dark, but IDS isn't an art or high-concept show; it's for consumers. Usually, the things I like most demonstrate attention to materials and processes that minimize the end product's environmental impact, but not always. In this case, few designers exhibited such focus. You can read about the things I found most interesting at Toronto Craft Alert.

Come Up To MY Room is the most conceptual of the TIDF events that I attended this year, and also the most remarkable. If you don't know what CUTMR is, the organizers invite artists to create installations in the second floor rooms and hallways at the Gladstone Hotel. The results are always intriguing and there are always a couple of installations that look and feel really great—in which the artists create great experiences. The artists have to work within a couple of significant limitations; for example, the rooms are small and oddly shaped, and the walls must remain white. I think the best pieces take full advantage of the room's conditions, including its shape and its lighting.

Maybe because the installations are enclosed—separate from reality—they often have the feeling of fantasy. I guess in a sense that's always the artist's intention: to create the feeling of something that's not real or hyper-real. It helps, too, that at CUTMR the viewers get to move from room to room and fantasy to fantasy, becoming more and more disoriented as the place gets busier and busier. You just need a fussy rabbit to lead you around and you'd feel perfectly lost in Wonderland. You can read my thoughts on some of the rooms on Toronto Craft Alert.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
The New Dilettantes by Adam Gorley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.