Two weeks ago I attended the inaugural Saturday InDesign 2011 event in Singapore. This furniture and home furnishings show, also held annually in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, is organized by InDesign, an Australian-based organization that hosts a number of design shows as well publishes various design publications like Design Quarterly and Habitus.
As opposed to a traditional trade show where giant conference centers are crammed full of row after row of booths, Saturday InDesign brings attendees directly to each participating showroom. Stores and shops all across the city were open to the registering public and accessible by a fleet of shuttle buses organized on various routes. Each showroom hosted visitors with unique designs and displays as well as plenty of food and drinks. It was an unusual design show but very intimate and very well organized. It was a great opportunity to meet the showroom owners, the designers and see where everything was located. Sometimes walking into a furniture store can be intimidating, but Saturday InDesign created a very inviting atmosphere.
Much of the furniture and furnishings were very interesting. It was great to see such unique displays and special projects designed specifically for the event. The Alt.Work.Space project (in collaboration with Herman Miller, Interface Flor, Contrac-Image and Xtra Office) had a unique display. Fun and whimsical "work" areas like the Playground (designed by PDM International) used the Eames shell chair swing, an office chair teeter totter and turned a traditional desk into a ping-pong table. I also loved the Interface Flor chair made from actual carpet tiles. Other showrooms did a great job luring the public in like Vitra's green elephants climbing up the tree. At Foundry, one of my favorite shops, the showroom had teamed up with Phunk Studio to create a beautiful, snowflake-like display inspired by a lamp in the Foundry collection. Another unique display was a sort of Rube Goldberg-ish device wherein silver marbles looped continuously on a device that was built entirely out of materials found at this show: wooden pallets and free magazines. And I can't forget to mention the most fun part of the day: watching the Aeron Chair Hockey tournament, sponsored by Herman Miller. All day long teams competed for the coveted prize of bringing home an Aeron Chair. It was really well attended and the teams were competitive!
If you're in Sydney, don't miss out on Saturday InDesign which will take place August 19 -20, 2011.
Images: Anne Reagan