interior designers of canada designers d'intérieur du canada
news + events

IDC members and industry leaders from across North America gathered at Teknion in Toronto, Ont. from Oct. 25 to 27, 2023 to learn, engage, and network at the 2023 IDC Design Symposium – ‘Together, United.’

The event was an opportunity for participants from the design and architecture community across Canada to learn together, connect, and network.

The symposium was made possible by the generous support from Teknion, Lutron, Benjamin Moore, and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Canada Inc.

Participants attended design tours, collected IDCEC credits through panel discussions, heard from incredible speakers, and celebrated the best of interior design at the IDC Awards Celebration, featuring the prestigious Value of Design Awards (VODA).

Highlights of the IDC Design Symposium include:

Captivating Design Tours

Participants were provided the opportunity to join two Design Symposium tours, Pinterest Office and Polar Asset Management Partners. Both tours invited participants to explore award-winning design projects through the lead of expert interior designers.


Enticing Sponsor Showcases

Photo: Nick Wons

The event’s main sponsors provided activations on both days that awakened the senses. Learn more about what the teams at Benjamin Moore, Lutron, Teknion, and Fisher and Paykel had in store for Symposium participants.


Two Incredible Keynotes

Photo: Nick Wons

This year’s keynotes provided captivating presentations; their stories and experiences inspired and educated.

Framework Leadership founder, Russell Pollard (he/him), MBA, delivered an energetic keynote on personal leadership. His talk encouraged attendees to reflect on how their own networking, mentorship, and industry involvement can create value for others in the interior design profession.

Tech Entrepreneur and CEO of Buggy, Nicole Verkindt inspired attendees to turn their ideas into success with her insight on the importance of entrepreneurial and disruptive thinking, diversity in leadership, technology, and innovation.


Three Engaging Expert Panel Discussions

Photo: Nick Wons

A Panel on Leadership followed Russell Pollard’s presentation and was part of the Propel Emerging Leaders Programming. The panelists were Stanely Sun, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Mason Studio, Umid Abdullaev, Instructor in the Department of Interior Design at the University of Manitoba, and Keshia Caplette, then President of the IDC Board of Directors. Panelists shared their experiences within the interior design industry, the impact that mentorship had on their careers, and tips for becoming a better leader in the industry. The panel and the Propel program were sponsored by Levey.

The second panel followed Nicole Verkindt’s presentation and was an insightful discussion on the topic of Emerging Tech as a Successful Business Tool. The panelists were Andrew Lane, Co-Founder of Digby, Mark Cichy, Director of Design Technology at HOK, and Linda Zhang, Principal Architect at Studio Pararaum. The panelists explored real-world examples of how creative industries are leveraging emerging technologies and what they mean for the future.

The third panel was an enlightening discussion about the importance of neuroaesthetics for interior design. The panelists were Mike Peterson, President of Visionary Design Marketing and Founder of Science in Design, Donald H. Ruggles, CEO Emeritus of Ruggles Mabe Studio, and Linda Kafka, Co-founder of Science in Design. In this captivating dialogue, the panelists discussed the profound impact of neuroaesthetics on our well-being and the spaces we inhabit.


Four Motivating Presentations

Photo: Nick Wons

Amanda Schneider, Founder and President at ThinkLab presented ‘GEN Z IS HERE: ARE YOU READY?’ and invited attendees on a journey of exploring Gen Z stereotypes as a prototype shaping the future of how all generations are shifting in this new hybrid work setting.

Annie Bergeron, Principal and Design Director at Gensler Toronto followed with a presentation titled ‘What Workers Want: Findings from Gensler’s Canadian Workplace Survey.’ This presentation delivered findings on what’s working in offices where workers are returning, what’s not working to support employees’ critical work activities, and what’s missing that may increase people’s willingness to return to the office more often. Download the report to learn more.

Jennifer Wammack, Outreach & Learning Director at BIFMA presented ‘Why Standards Matter,’ a course for all involved with furniture procurement to ensure decisions are informed by safety, wellness, and sustainability. This course is part of a series offered by BIFMA. Learn more.

Jon Strassner, Workplace strategist, climate activist, and podcast host presented ‘The Mindful MATERIALS Common Materials Framework’ which provides a mechanism for understanding and evaluating materials’ impacts on human health, climate health, ecosystem health, social health and equity, and a circular economy. Materials in construction are responsible for 11% of global carbon emissions every year. Learn how to take the first steps to make an impact by visiting

Mike Peterson, President of Visionary Design Marketing and Founder of Science in Design presented ‘Are You a Brand? Thriving in a World of Brands.’ The interactive seminar helped attendees see their role as a brand that connects and creates a bond with the client. Browse the Science in Design seminar videos mentioned during the presentation.


Recognizing IDC Members at the Awards Celebration

Photo: Nick Wons

Each year, IDC celebrates outstanding IDC members and their work and innovation within the interior design community. The Awards Celebration presented the 2023 Value of Design Awards (VODA), the Industry Partners-exclusive Innovation Awards, the Innovation in Design Thinking Student Competition, and the Legacy Award for Distinguished Service.


Connections at Annual General Meeting

The 51st Annual General Meeting was held on October 27, 2023, at Teknion in Toronto where members heard a report on IDC’s activities over the past year.

Five new board members were elected to the IDC Board of Directors, along with a new IDC President, and Vice President. Read more about the new board.

Four new members became IDC Fellows this year. Learn more.



The 2023 IDC Design Symposium brought together participants from the design and architecture community across Canada to explore the crucial role of design in shaping a productive, healthy, and inclusive society. The event encouraged collaboration, inclusion, growth, and opportunity. It was a massive success and we look forward to capturing the spirits of IDC members and the design community again at the 2024 IDC Design Symposium!

Did you attend the 2023 IDC Design Symposium? Check out event photos on the IDC Facebook page.

2024 IDC Design Symposium details coming soon. For more information, please contact