IDS Advisory Group
As part of IDS Toronto’s ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting design and architecture in Canada, we are proud to announce our 2017 Advisory Group. The members of this group represents a range within the architecture and design community and will provide strategic input as we continue to grow the IDS brand.
Michael Barr, Managing Director, AVENUE ROAD
For nearly ten years Michael Barr has been a leading force behind the development of AVENUE ROAD, helping to drive the business from a boutique gallery to a prominent contemporary furniture showroom with multiple locations across North America.
Joining AVENUE ROAD as Marketing Director shortly after its introduction in 2007, Michael has applied his diverse background in communications, relationship marketing and design. Since then he has propelled the DNA of the brand leading to high profile partnerships and international recognition. In 2010, he led the opening of the award-winning Toronto flagship showroom, followed by the debut of the brand in New York in 2012.
Forever seeking opportunities to drive the company forward, Michael led the successful production of the brands bespoke publication series “Storybook” and has played an integral role in the development of exclusive furniture designs from preeminent global talents, including Yabu Pushelberg, Sebastian Herkner and Christophe Delcourt.
As Managing Director, Michael leads AVENUE ROAD’s day to day operations and cross functional teams. Advancing the businesses growth is Michael’s principle focus. An expanded showroom concept in New York set to launch Spring 2017 and a much-anticipated space in Vancouver to follow shortly thereafter are just a few of the initiatives he is championing.
Michael is passionate about art and design and a committed member of the design community. He is an active supporter of the Design Exchange, past Snowball gala committee member in support of Casey House and a proud contributor to the IDS Advisory Group.
Suzanne Dimma, Principal, Suzanne Dimma Design
Suzanne Dimma is one of Canada’s most prolific interior design and decorating experts. She is the principal of Suzanne Dimma Design, a full-service boutique design & consulting firm based in Toronto. She frequently collaborates with her husband, Arriz Hassam, (Arriz +co.), an award-winning designer. Their current projects include private residences in Toronto, Vancouver and France.
Suzanne’s work has appeared in numerous print publications including House & Home, Cottage Life, Chatelaine, Wish, Gardening Life, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. She was the Editor-in-Chief of House & Home magazine from 2008 to 2016, and was the Creative Director for the House & Home product line sold at Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada. Currently, she is the Design Expert for Stylecooler, an arts and culture media brand launching in November 2016. For the past two decades, Suzanne has appeared in front of the camera as one of North America’s most sought-after design editors and lifestyle experts, on TV shows like Cityline, House & Home TV, and her show The Style Department on HGTV.
Suzanne is an active supporter of the Canadian design community. She is a member of the The Friends of the DX Board at the Design Exchange, Canada’s Design Museum, and was the co-chair of the 2016 Design Exchange Design Auction, raising over $100,000 for the museum’s educational programs and permanent collections. Suzanne has also co-produced and hosted the annual Snow Ball fundraising gala for Casey House, a pioneer in HIV/AIDS health care and palliative care.
Omar Gandhi, Principal, Omar Gandhi Architect Inc.
Omar Gandhi is a Canadian architect born and raised in Brampton, currently practicing and residing in both Halifax, Nova Scotia and Toronto, Ontario.
After studying in the Regional Arts program at Mayfield Secondary School (Caledon) and later the inaugural Architectural Studies Program at the University of Toronto he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia where he received his Master’s degree in 2005 at Dalhousie University. After graduation Omar worked for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Young + Wright Architects and most recently for MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects in Halifax and worked on several key projects including Manitoba Hydro, Two Hulls, the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University and the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum- Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo. Gandhi started his own design studio in 2010, Omar Gandhi Architect Inc, and became a registered architectural practice in 2012. Omar is currently a sessional instructor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie University.
Omar is the recipient of the 2014 Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome and was listed in Wallpaper* Magazine’s 2014 Architects Directory – their list of the top 20 Young Architects in the World. Most recently, Omar was named one of the Architectural League of New York’s ‘Emerging Voices’ of 2016.
Alison Milne, Owner, Alison Milne Design + Gallery
Alison Milne designs residential dwellings and interior spaces out of her Junctional Triangle-based studio in Toronto. When designing a home, Alison and her team focus on getting to know each clients’ lifestyle and daily routines in order to design a space that is truly tailored and representative .
Alison facilitates monthly exhibitions in her studio, displaying the work of both local and international artists. Her practice focuses on the importance of art in the interior design process and she advises her clients to invest in pieces that they love and that have real meaning to them.
Alison has also guest starred as an art and interior design specialist on several Canadian TV design shows, including serving as the resident designer on Restaurant Takeover. She resides with her husband and baby boy in the west end of Toronto, and can often be found at international furniture fairs, art exhibitions and local fundraisers.
Catherine Osborne, Editor-in-Chief, Azure
Catherine Osborne is the Editor-in-Chief of Azure, Canada’s leading international contemporary architecture and design magazine. She has been with the publication for a decade, and during that time she has been immersed in covering the most innovative, forward-looking and socially relevant design from around the globe. She has reported on such influential annual events as Milan Salone del Mobile and the Venice Biennale, and interviewed some of the most creative thinkers of our era, including Tom Dixon, Faye Toogood, Daniel Libeskind and Craig Dykers of Snøhetta. Her profile on British architect David Adjaye will appear in the March/April 2017 issue of Azure.