Design IS Business: #IDSA17Atlanta is Aug. 16–19

International Design Conference Spotlights Disney Keynote and More

As the world’s most innovative companies take note of the strategic advantage brought by industrial designers to business, the Industrial Designers Society of America is declaring Design IS Business at its International Design Conference 2017. Registration is open for the premier networking event—which is set for Aug. 16–19 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and culminates with IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)® Ceremony and Gala on Aug. 19 at the Woodruff Arts Center.

There’s no better way to learn about the impact of design on business than from one of the most renowned brands and corporations in the world—Disney. The keynote presentation will be co-delivered on Aug. 16 by Walt Disney Imagineering President Bob Weis and Shanghai Disney Resort Vice President of Operations Andrew Bolstein. “Businesses are reserving a seat on the board for a chief design officer, assimilating design strategy or making room for design to influence their direction significantly,” explains Conference Chair Jeevak Badve, IDSA, VP of Sundberg-Ferar.

More speakers at the intersection of design and business include James Sommerville of Coca-Cola; Mike Nelson of Home Depot; Sean Carney of Philips; Randy Hunt of Etsy; Nate Young of Newell Brands; Julia Burke of Whirlpool; Joel Kashuba of Fifth Third Bank; Peter Machaelian of Dolby Laboratories; and Bob Wheeler of Airstream, Inc.

Other speakers will be featured in a rapid-fire format including Max Burton, IDSA, MATTER; Ti Chang, IDSA, CRAVE; Seth GaleWyrick, Bresslergroup; Liam Hawry, Studio One Eleven; Chris Kaye, IDSA, US Endoscopy; Marlisa Kopenski, Design Concepts; Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA, and Shea McManus, North Carolina State University; Evan MacDonald, Freefly Systems; Lisa Marks, IDSA, Berea College; Nahla Osman, Huge; Jennifer Peavey, IDSA, Eastman Chemical Company; Brian Roderman, FIDSA, IN2 Innovation; Florian Vollmer, InReality; and Stephen Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA, Design Science.

Three interactive panels will take attendees on different journeys:

  • Aug. 17—Business of Corporate Design Studios (moderated by Badve): David Dombrowski, IDSA, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; Marc Hottenroth, IDSA, GE Appliances; Joe Jasinski, IDSA, Dell; Rajat Shail, Honeywell; and John Suh, Hyundai Ventures.
  • Aug. 18—Business of Design Consultancy Studios (moderated by Badve): Scott Clear, RKS Design; Qin Li, IDSA, fuseproject; David Thimm, IDSA, Sundberg-Ferar; and Carrie Vincent, frog design.
  • Aug. 19—Future of ID Studios (moderated by Kevin Shankwiler, IDSA, Georgia Tech): Michelle Berryman, FIDSA, Liquid Hub; Owen Foster, IDSA, SHiFT Design Camp and Aether Learning; Byeong Cheol Hwang, PhD, Savannah College of Art and Design; Julia Kemp, Harvard Business School; and He Renke, Hunan University School of Design.

On Aug. 16, the IDSA/Eastman Education Lab Symposium 2017: Emergent Pedagogy in Design, will be chaired by Scott Shim, IDSA, of the University of Notre Dame. Speakers are set from Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Parsons School of Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Houston and DesignIntelligence.

On Aug. 18, several IDSA Awards winners and inductees into IDSA’s Academy of Fellows will be announced and the five IDSA Student Merit Award 2017 winners will be recognized. A Career Center will include a portfolio review. Also at the conference: local design studio tours, offsite tours and parties.

For the first time, sensational Saturday sessions will be designed to thrill the youngest generation—as conference-goers and their children as young as age five will be amazed by magician and innovation consultant Michael Mode of Big Lightbulb, Inc.; bird expert Francie Krawcke and her feathered friends; Mark Zeller of Fisher-Price; Ryan Ringholz of PLAE children’s shoe company; Michael Laris, IDSA, of PlayPower playground maker; and Steve Burris of KIDS II.

Family-friendly attractions across Atlanta include The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Braves Major League Baseball, Georgia Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Six Flags Over Georgia, Zoo Atlanta, Olympic Park, Center for Puppetry Arts featuring a Jim Henson exhibit this summer, Atlanta Botanical Garden, film festivals, plays, musicals, movie tours, AIA Historic Downtown Architecture Tour, streetcars and trolleys, World of Coca-Cola, Piedmont Park and Stone Mountain Park.

Follow the journey using #IDSA17Atlanta and #IDSAIDEA @IDSA on Twitter; Industrial Designers Society of America on Facebook and LinkedIn; and @IDSAdesign on Instagram. Sponsorship opportunities are limited; contact To schedule press coverage, contact