Philadelphia has been a center for innovation since the founding of the country. One could say the country was designed here. Through the industrial revolution, heralded by the 1876 World Fair in Fairmont Park, Philadelphia was the largest manufacturing center in the country. As industry has left, the city has evolved and experienced a rebirth to become a center for medicine, education and creative services. This is a fitting location for discussing the evolution of our profession and how we practice it. Historically, we design what industry makes, but that has changed in dramatic ways since the inception of industrial design. We are one of the youngest professions and one that was birthed in two different locals based upon differing priorities. This uncertain foundation has not provided the security or confidence in the value of our expertise held by the older professions. On the other hand, in the last 20 years we have gained increased recognition and those that we serve are beginning to recognize the value we offer. We can build upon that momentum by being clearer about and more confident in our value. This will depend on further evolution of our business relationships with clients and our organizations, advancements in education and in professional development—all points we will explore during this presentation. So as the economic cycle comes around again, let’s take some time to imagine how we might make the future ours, how we can better reveal our value, how we can make life better and more sustainable for more people, our clients and ourselves.
Session Title: Old Dogs, New Tricks: Designing for Behavioral Change ERIC FREITAG
The design profession has changed. We used to convince our clients that designers are important to the making of things. But now companies, institutions even governments seek designers to help solve complex problems and create new models of change. One of the more exciting challenges we now face is designing for behavioral change, which reaches beyond the “thing” into the entire ecosystem. In this session, Freitag will share Smart Design’s framework for designing ecosystems that inspire behavioral change specifically in the health-care sector where the impact is truly life changing.
The University of the Arts (UArts) is the current form of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, founded in 1876. Philadelphia, once this country’s “Workshop to the World,” was a major industrial center and the art school was there to serve those industries and their needs. Those industries are gone; the current industries have different needs, as well as locale. But, the need to be connected still remains. What is happening in Philadelphia now? DesignPhiladelphia has successfully focused the spotlight on the new design activity in the city and the region, and UArts has embraced DesignPhiladelphia. Together DesignPhiladelphia and UArts are working on partnerships, on collaboration, on interdisciplinary activities and on fully including the people for whom they design as part of the design process. In an increasingly complex world, DesignPhiladelphia and UArts are looking at knowledge, technology and creativity. How will this change what we do? Who is in control now?
Bill Moggridge will open our design dialogue by weaving connections between the conference’s three themes. He will use the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to illustrate that to know your past is to know your future. He will venture into that blurry future to probe the idea that change is the new norm and attempt to push beyond the boundaries of conventional design in answering the question, "What's Next?"
Award-winning author Regina Blaszczyk examines Philadelphia as a design center, past and future. When colonial founder William Penn drew up his grid plan and made diversity the city’s calling card, he laid the foundation for three centuries of innovation. Blaszczyk highlights the city’s great design moments—its traditions in optical instruments, Empire furniture, Stetson hats, Victrola record players, Atwater-Kent radios and Plexiglas, the aviation plastic that helped to win World War II. This session explores how this manufacturing past can help us to imagine a designing future.
Session Title: Design: Past, Present and Future: The Path to Social Modernization? MAURICE BARNWELL
The process of industrialization was, at least in part, a response to changes generated by a country’s economic system accompanied by unparalleled growth in the population base. Great Britain emerged as the first industrial nation; it is now one of the first casualties of the de-industrial revolution. This scenario is being repeated in the US, Canada and many previously industrial nations. New economic systems are at work and new centers of population growth are emerging, resulting in new economies manifested in BRIC, a grouping acronym that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Where does design fit into this revised reality?
IBM has positioned its capabilities in the last several years around Smarter Planet initiatives. These range from Smarter Cities, to Smarter Health Care, to Smarter Traffic. Design has played a key role in both enabling these initiatives and building brand awareness for IBM and its association with Smarter Planet. IBM designers have focused on current and future technology designs to help make these smarter systems work. The design of the experience that clients have when IBM collaborates with them is evident in bringing the WATSON computer system to life as when it competed on Jeopardy, as well as a range of branding initiatives like the THINK exhibit at Lincoln Center last fall, which focused on stories of making the world work better. Camillo Sassano will share these and other stories that illustrate the changing and increasingly strategic role of design at IBM.
Design thinking is not new. Learning through doing is the essence of progressive education. All those guys: Friedrich Froebel and Caroline Pratt to John Dewey, Rowena Reed, and even in his own way, Timothy Leary were basically encouraging children to practice design, realize what’s going on, then make it better. What’s special about design is that we try to understand the situation then make real things, in short: realize.
Session Title: A Trajectory of Industrial Design: from Raymond Loewy to Steve Jobs CHARLES MAURO
Industrial design (ID), as a professional discipline, has undergone staggering changes in both impact on and penetration into world markets. This session will trace critical transitions in ID over the last 50 years including a look at key players in the ID field, their role in technological and social change and related economic impact. The session will conclude with a review of recent trends in the connectedness of devices and how such trends portend major changes for the ID field in the next 20 years.
Session Title: Invisible Behaviors: The Legibility of Our Digital Behaviors in Public Space DANIEL GODDEMEYER
Advances in digital technology have made cell phones ubiquitous devices that help us to navigate and interact with the city. We use cell phones for everything from talking to checking our emails to surfing the Web. We also leave behind geo-local data trails through these interactions that enable assumptions about us. This data and knowledge is useful for finding new opportunities. It also raises questions concerning our changing behaviors in public space, our perception and interaction with each other, as well as how we experience our city. In the context of big data, this session explores the legibility of our behaviors on a micro vs. macro scale, the privatization of public space vs. the publication of private space and the changing paradigm of physical objects and build environment vs. the new digital topology over the urban space. This session is a primer to changing behaviors in the city through ubiquitous technology.