IDSA 2017: Meeting at the Intersection of Design and Business
The Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA)’s International Design Conference, held in Atlanta, Ga. from August 16-19, 2017, centered on the theme “Design IS Business,” to productive and exciting results.
At the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, more than 750 attendees gathered to experience four days of inspiring presentations from industrial design (ID) leaders. The event also included two award ceremonies, an opening reception, closing gala, panel discussions, rapid fire sessions, studio open houses and many networking breaks in the “Design Gallery,” where 30 exhibitors shared their innovations with IDSA members and designers from around the world.
Standouts on the show floor:
- Autodesk showcased a number of 3D design and generative learning projects at their booth, like 3D printed prosthetics and the first ever 3D-printed performance trainer, constructed with Autodesk Fusion 360 software and in collaboration with Under Armour. Besides Fusion 360, the company’s digital prototyping software line includes Autodesk Inventor and the Autodesk Product design suite, used in the manufacturing industry to visualize, stimulate and analyze real-world performance using a digital model during the design process.
- Model Solution provides a variety of manufacturing and design services: precision prototyping, tooling, CNC machining and additive manufacturing, to name a few. The company works with a wide range of materials and across a wide range of industries, from automotive to medical to aerospace.
- Valspar, recently acquired by Sherwin-Williams, offers paints and coatings with defensive technologies to withstand all weather conditions. Valspar also was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Exterior Paints” in the J.D. Power 2017 Paint Satisfaction Study.
Takeaways from our favorite talks:
- “Good design is good business.” In a joint keynote presentation, Bob Weis (Disney Imagineering) and Andrew Bolstein (Disney Shanghai Resort), talked about building and designing the newest theme park in Shanghai, China, as well as the Avatar experience at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. and the upcoming Star Wars attractions.
- “Romance the concept.” Peter Michaelian (Dolby), an inventor with more than 50 patents to his name, explained how industrial designers can generate business and spark innovation by combining their rational and creative sides, as well as aligning goals with upper management.
- “The best way to become a force is to stop forcing it.” Nate Young (Newell Brands) outlined 10 ways to build successful ID teams inside companies. Examples: "Brute force may seem justified but seldom works,. Chose the right tool for the right job," and "Never, ever compromise skills as your core."
- “Create an emotional connection.” Julia Burke (Whirlpool) discussed how appliances aren't just about the product, but about everyday life. At Whirlpool's Advanced Design Studios in Benton Harbor, Mich., Burke and her team have responded to a cultural shift, from Boomers and Gen X-ers opting for convenience in cooking to Millennials and Generation Z valuing knowledge about what goes into the food and creative experiences in the kitchen. "Experiences transcend performance," Burke said.
- “Put people at the center of design.” Sean Carney (Philips) is creating meaningful experiences for his customers as well. As the chief design officer of Philips' Healthcare Transformation Services. Carney has overseen several life-changing projects, including NICUs and CT scanning rooms with special lighting and audio-visual aides to keep babies and children calm in hospital settings.
Winners of the 2017 IDSA Awards, presented oat the conference on Friday, August 18:
- Hector Silva, IDSA Young Educator of the Year Award
- Ed Dorsa, IDSA Education Award
- Charles Mauro, Personal Recognition Award
- Marianne Grisdale and John Barrat, new inductees into IDSA’s Academy of Fellows
For the first time ever, the five winners of the annual IDSA Student Merit Awards are all young women:
- Sofia Frilund, Parsons School of Design
- Chloe Georgiades, UC DAAP
- Judy Leung, California College of the Arts
- Claire Puginier, Savannah College of Art & Design
- Erin Rice, University of Notre Dame.
Winners of the IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), presented at the IDEA17 Ceremony & Gala at the Woodruff Arts Center on Saturday, August 19, are listed here.
To listen to our interview with Rajat Shail, senior director of experience design at Honeywell, click here.