On July 16th, the 2018 DesignEX Okanagan brought together manufacturers, suppliers, interior designers, architects and others from the building industry for a trade show and education day, and Centre for Arts & Technologies Interior Design students were there to take it all in.
Presented by IDIBC (Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia) and IDC (Interior Designers of Canada) at Okanagan College’s ‘Centre for Learning Facility’, this annual event allows people from the interior design community to come together, network, get a firsthand look at new products, and receive IDCEC (Interior Designers of Canada Educational Credits) professional and educational development hours by attending talks by international speakers on a variety of topics.
Not only were Centre f0r Arts & Technologies Interior Design (ID) students in attendance, but they were involved in both the pre-event organization and on the day. ID’s Bethany Friesen designed the ‘Save the Date’ notices for the event, and all the students acted as volunteers, contacting industry beforehand and helping organizers at the event itself.
“DesignEX proved to be an extremely beneficial and enjoyable day,” says Cassidy Stober, Interior Design student. “It was an enjoyable and educational experience that left me feeling inspired to be entering into the interior design industry.”
“It’s such a great opportunity for students,” agrees Jennifer Yeo, Department Head of Centre for Arts & Technologies ID program.
“On the education side, they get the opportunity to hear significant international keynote speakers on topics like Networking, Specification Writing, or WELL Building Standards.
On the trade show side, they get to introduce themselves to reps, learn about the latest products and where they can use them, collect business samples, and build business relationships.
There are architects, designers and design reps from BC, Alberta and across Canada, and they also get to see the latest products available for use in the commercial and residential built environment.”
“As a future interior designer, it’s invariably satisfying to wander through the endless rows of new technologies, furniture, lighting, hardware, and materials,” agrees Stober.
This year’s seminars included: ‘Networking for Business Development’, co-presented by Carol Jones, (Kasian Architecture) and Richard Pollack (Pollack Consulting); ‘Specifications and Their Role in the Project’ and ‘Forms of Contract, Contract Documents, Site Meetings and Walk- Throughs’, both presented by Glenn Chatten (Wordclear Specifications) and ‘The WELL Building Standard’, presented by Sharon Hollingsworth (RID, BADID, IDIBC, WELL AP LEED AP BD+C).
“All the seminars are Continuing Education Units, something that all registered interior designers are required to take each year. It was the perfect networking opportunity for students to meet registered interior designers from all over the Okanagan,” explains Yeo.
“The WELL Building Standards talk was especially important, as it was new to Canada as of 2017, and is something that is going to be key for everyone in the industry going forward.”
“My personal favorite was the final seminar on WELL Building Standards, a subject I’m increasingly becoming more passionate about,” says Stober. “It has promoted me to become a WELL Accredited Professional after I graduate – there are none in the Okanagan Valley so perhaps I’ll be the first!”