Design Leaders Todd Bracher, Karim Rashid to Keynote mDesign Live

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – mDesign Live, the new materials-centered conference aimed at designers,

architects and product fabricators, announced its first two keynote speakers: designers Karim

Rashid and Todd Bracher.

Rashid (@karim_design) is one of the most prolific designers of his generation, with more than 3,000

designs in production in more than 40 countries. Rashid has received more than 300 awards. 

Bracher’s Todd Bracher Studio (@toddbracher) guides some of the world’s most prestigious brands

in finding strategic differentiation using design. Bracher believes that at its core, design must be

informed, essential, expert and artful.

mDesign Live, co-produced by the International Woodworking Fair and Surface & Panel magazine,

runs Oct. 28-29, 2019, in DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Patterned after materials events in Europe,

mDesign Live brings together fabricators and architectural and commercial interior design


Located in eastern Michigan, Grand Rapids is a regional hub of multiple design-driven industries:

office furniture (Steelcase, Herman Miller), closets (Stow Company), kitchen and cabinet (Masco

Cabinets), among other panel processing industries.

The two-day mDesign Live features a fast-paced run of educational sessions and other attractions: 

•    Four one-hour keynotes in 2,500 seat DeVos Theater.

•    A dozen mTalks (15-minute rapid-fire presentations on design and production innovation).

•    All breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks staged in exposition hall. 

•    Up to three conference passes for sponsors and exhibitors.

Manufacturers and distributors of design software, panels, components and hardware will be able to

mix with designers, architects and fabricators throughout the event.

“After years of experience in the industry seeing what works and what doesn’t at events all around

the world, we conceptualized the best ideas all wrapped into one,” said John Aufderhaar, publisher

of Surface & Panel. The event and its structure represent a number of innovations:

•    First national event devoted to materials for both designers and fabricators.

•    Attendees and exhibitors will be shoulder to shoulder throughout the event.

•    Registration is free to qualified designers and wood products fabricators serving them.

•    Simplified exhibitor logistics include turnkey 10x10 or 10x20 ft. packages. 

Designers, interior architects and panel processing and fabrication companies that work with them

will in proximity throughout the event, allowing continuous interchange and opportunities for

innovative thinking. Likewise, supplier exhibitors and speakers will be immersed in an unusual

setting for inspiration with customers and peers. 

“There will be design innovation presentations, the latest developments of how products are made,

and close interaction with the people who buy and specify products,” said Ryan Wagner, VP of sales

and marketing for Surface & Panel. 

Registration is now open for mDesign Live. For more information and to register,

visit Room blocks at preferred rates have been reserved for mDesign Live

attendees and exhibitors: 

To reserve exhibition space or for additional information, contact Ryan Wagner

at or

mDesign Live: Materials and design like never before

The International Woodworking Fair and Surface & Panel magazine are proud to announce a groundbreaking new event for the woodworking and interior design industries.

mDesign Live will be Oct. 28-29, 2019, at the DeVos Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A material and design event in the heart of the office furniture industry, it is the perfect environment for education and collaboration among those attending.

Both IWF and Surface & Panel have coordinated successful industry events for years and can leverage their organizational strengths to produce a visionary event.

“Our new agreement with Surface & Panel magazine is another step toward our goal to be at the heartbeat of the industry," said Brian Donahue, IWF 2020 chairman. “We approached Surface & Panel to conceive and create a new event focusing on the material side of our industry. That focus is the best way to extend the IWF brand. Surface & Panel is at the forefront in materials and design, and we look forward to the genesis of this event.”

“This is your North America materials show,” added John Aufderhaar, publisher of Surface & Panel. “After years of experience in the industry seeing what works and what doesn’t at events all around the world, we conceptualized the best ideas all wrapped into one for mDesign Live, and IWF is the perfect partner for it.”

In addition to showcasing a vast range of innovative materials from around the world, mDesign Live will feature powerful keynote presentations, a who’s who in networking opportunities and a unique environment for collaboration.

“There will be design presentations, the latest in how products are made, close interaction with the people who buy and specify products, and many educational opportunities to learn new trends,” said Ryan Wagner, VP of sales and marketing for Surface & Panel.

mDesign Live will be free to qualified fabricators, architects and designers. In coming weeks, mDesign Live will release keynote speakers, topic information, exhibitors and more. Visit for details on registration and how you can be a part of this trailblazing North American event.