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I have attended iidex Canada for the last 5 years and it was back during my first visit to this show that I was beginning to seriously relook at going back school to become an Interior Designer. The show offers the Canadian design and architecture community an opportunity to peruse product, furniture and installations amidst frequent catch-up sessions with new and old colleagues.  Five years ago I felt like a stranger amongst the throngs but this year I attended and perused with my closest design allies.

We rallied together Friday in order to attend the Yabu Pushelberg keynote presentation. Y&P are not only a premiere Canadian design firm but also a global powerhouse with exceptional & beautifully tailored hospitality projects around the globe. They have been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame and in 2012 were voted ‘The Most Admired Firms’ by the top 75 hospitality giants. The 30 year relationship and collaboration of partners Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu was candidly spotlighted.

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As we settled in moderator Illana Weitzman, editor of enRoute magazine steered us through the hour long conversation. Candid discussion started with the changing perception of the hospitality industry. There is an evolving philosophy on the personal experience developed as soon as one crosses the threshold. It is an exploration of the symbiotic relationship which is crafted not only through design and paramount service but also in the anticipation of attending to the unexpected wants of a patron.  Glenn and George relay this through their definition of ultimate comfort, “not having to think of your needs”. A slideshow of project images flipped in the background as they unintentionally cut each other off eager to share.

What I found particularly interesting was an obvious maturity in their world view and evolving design philosophy. Self-admittedly they are in a position now where they “don’t need any more”, which is partnered with a confidence built on their success. After 30 years of self-invention and looking beyond what is in trend Y&P are at a point now where they can conceptualize freely. Simultaneously while investing, cultivating and imparting their philosophy amongst their team.

Good directors of creative people while being creative people.

After the presentation we casually circulated through the show stopping to chat to vendors and friends. Our final stop was at booth #1811 which was promoting the One of A Kind Craft show but more importantly designed by Mason.

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If Y&P represents where we came from Mason displays where we are going. Another dynamic Ryerson grad pairing, Mason created “Glamping” a seasonal and environmental dichotomy. All whimsically explored through graphic floor and wall murals, blow up furniture and full size 3D corrugated cardboard flora and fauna.  A quick spin in the Herman Miller Spun chair and it was time to leave and enjoy a lovely sunny September afternoon.

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