How Jody Phillips is Making IDS Vancouver a Destination for Cutting-Edge Ideas in Design

The director details what to expect from the September fair, plus why she's looking forward to judging HNN Vancouver next week.
Jody Phillips

The next edition of GRAY’s HOT NEW NEXT competition takes place Tuesday, June 11, at Salari Fine Carpets in Vancouver, BC. This Shark Tank-style live event offers contestants the chance to present a rapid-fire pitch of a new design-related concept or product to an expert panel of industry veterans, who will select a winner in a final round in September during the Interior Design Show (IDS) Vancouver.

Leading up to the big night, we’re checking in with each of our judges to learn more about their work, background, and what makes them tick. This week, we caught up with Jody Phillips, director of IDS Vancouver, a four-day interior design event that brings together the best of international and Canadian design.

RSVP to HOT NEW NEXT Vancouver here.

What do you love most about IDS Vancouver?

It allows collaborators and exhibitors to be creative. Plus, the receptivity the public has toward new concepts, fresh faces, products, and ideas is amazing.


As someone who attends design fairs around the world, is there a festival you found particularly great?

I am a huge fan of Dutch Design Week. IDS Vancouver has a cultural partnership with the Dutch Design Foundation in addition to other design weeks and fairs where we participate by showcasing talent or a theme from the Pacific Northwest. We also support or promote initiatives that are of value to Vancouver’s design community.


What new features can we expect to see at this year’s IDS Vancouver?

There are too many to list! With our continued intention to broaden our region’s overall design literacy and appreciation, we’re highlighting the impact design has on what we eat, how we eat, and the future of food. As part of our larger 2019 theme, which is Design DNA, two of our features—Seeds and Edible Futures—both focus this overarching idea. Two other features to expect are the Copenhagen installation and the Restock Central Bar, a celebration of sustainable practices, designed to shed light on demolition strategies that protect the salvage content of a building.


What’s your favorite design object?

I don’t know if I’d use the word iconic for any piece that I own. I do have some standard George Nelson Bubble lamps and those are iconic in some sense. We have Vitsoe shelving on one whole wall of our living room that holds my family’s books and treasures. I also have a pair of mid century modern armchairs that were my mother’s and my grandmother’s before that. I love them for the significance they have to me personally rather than for their iconic status. I do like to acquire pieces that are quirky, contemporary, and hold meaning to me that don’t at all reflect any one aesthetic. Some of my faves, to give you a sense of my randomness, are a series of ridiculously silly vases by Matteo Cibic, a neon-lime Ben Barber coffee table and an eggplant-hued wall mirror by Sabine Marcelis. None of these are iconic…..yet!


What are you looking forward to most about being an HNN judge?

Formerly a small business owner and product designer myself, the business of design is as interesting to consider as the product or service on offer. It has to be functional, beautiful, and sustainable, but the business model supporting the product or service needs to be viable and responsible.

Five Questions For is GRAY’s candid Q&A session with design industry luminaries that delves into all things personal, professional, and occasionally humorous.


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