Justin Shinn, S/IDSA


Justin Shinn, S/IDSA, is a senior at College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, where he’s on track to earn his BFA in product design in May 2018. He has held three internships in corporate and consultant settings—working on projects ranging from automotive to medical. “I’ve always had a passion for the creative aspects of life,” recalls Shinn. “From an early age, I had a curiosity for the world around me and a love of creative problem solving. Having learned about ID from my father (IDSA Fellow Kevin Shinn), I naturally saw this profession as an outlet to explore my creativity. When I was 5-years-old, I declared I wanted to be an industrial designer like my father.”

Shinn was born in Detroit; lived in New York and Ohio; and calls “home” the town of Midland, MI—where his father has always been his idol and mentor. “For years, I watched his tireless work ethic help him rise in this profession. He never pushed me to pursue design simply because he did it—rather, he supported me in following my own dreams.”

Shinn adds, “He has taught me incredible, valuable lessons throughout the years and been a huge support. Since he’s a leader in his industry, and in IDSA, I was able to get exposure to the design community early on and always knew that this was the family I wanted to be a part of!”

At CCS, Shinn is following in his father’s footsteps and taking the helm. He has led the CCS IDSA Student Chapter as president for three years. In fall 2016, he became the vice chair of IDSA’s new Students Special Interest Section and in fall 2017—the chair. “I always encourage students to join IDSA as early as possible,” he says. “Students who attend conferences and participate in competitions are afforded the opportunity for exposure, which is essential for building a professional identity and personal network.”

He also says the Society has an “unmatched” bank of knowledge. “From the relevant information provided on IDSA.org to the expert industry professionals who share their wisdom through webinars and at the International Design, District Design and niche conferences—there’s a great amount of expertise to take away from IDSA resources.”

Shinn says all this can jumpstart a student’s career and make crucial connections. “The design community is growing every day, but it’s still relatively small. IDSA is a platform for people to come together and support one another. We all have a part to play in the growth of industrial design and what better way to do that—then to be as one?”

Shinn also is part of IDSA’s Central District Design Conference 2018 planning committee, and was a finalist in IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2017.  “I love being able to translate my ideas into meaningful solutions to better the world around me,” he explains. “I’ve always believed industrial design has the power to change the world. I have a huge passion for medical, humanitarian and social impact design. It’s not as much about what I’m designing—as it is how my designs can help shape the world and improve human life. I hope one day I can be afforded the opportunity to make a difference, in whatever it is I’m designing.”