ID Connections

IDC president visits MAISON & OBJET

Published by Julia Salerno, February 28, 2011.

By IDC President, David Hanson

I was recently invited to represent IDC in Nord Villepinte Paris, at the trade-only show, MAISON + OBJET, at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, January 21 to 25. The show's organizers invited presidents of design associations from around the world to attend the show and participate in a networking forum.To say the show was huge would be an understatement! More than 3,500 exhibitors filled eight halls, each the size of a typical North American exhibition hall. The offerings ranged from art and tabletop to home furnishings and accessories, all conveniently divided and organized in their appropriate halls.

The highlights for me were certainly halls five through eight, where exhibitors featured stunning furnishings from well-known names in the fashion world such as Fendi and Armani. Each of these furnishings exhibitors displayed with exhibits whose size and design detailing (remember, these are temporary exhibits) would make North American manufacturers a blush! I definitely put a lot of miles on my soles at this show and was inspired at every turn!

On Saturday morning, a forum was convened for the international presidents to meet and share details of their organizations. Several presentations were given from the four corners of the globe and what struck me, was the not the differences, but the commonalities we share. There was talk of struggles maintaining membership levels, legal recognition, and scope of practice. Interior designers everywhere are faced with a certain lack of understanding of what we do as a profession by the public and the value that we bring to the table.

The same day, at the show, IIDA (International Interior Design Association) handed out their first annual Global Excellence Awards which included entries from interior designers from anywhere in the world for projects completed anywhere but in the USA. I am very pleased to report that Canada's very own Mitchell Freedland, of Mitchell Freedland Designs Inc., located in British Columbia, was awarded a top place honour for a lakeside residential project in Kelowna, BC.


Mitchell Freedland being presented his award by                            A few of the amazing exhibits at MAISON & OBJET
IIDA executive director, Cheryl Durst.  

It is very timely that IDC will soon be attending a global symposium organized by IFI (The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers) that will explore the challenges in defining the value, relevance, responsibility and identity of the profession - a lofty task indeed!

We look forward to reporting back on the outcome of this event that will bring together more than 100 leaders in our profession from around the world. It is clear that we have common needs and goals and it is only by sharing our resources and collective knowledge base worldwide that we can become a stronger voice in the built environment.

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