#IDSA17Atlanta Draws Designers from Around the World

Top Speakers Take Center Stage at Design IS Business

IDSA's International Design Conference 2017 took over the Atlanta Marriott Marquis from Aug. 16–19, drawing hundreds of designers from around the world and culminating with IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)® Ceremony and Gala at the Woodruff Arts Center on Aug. 19. Design IS Business was chaired by Jeevak Badve, IDSA. "Planning and curating an event of this magnitude is the first step, but seeing it unfold in real time—with the plethora of insights and perspectives shared from the stage and in each and every coffee conversation—really makes you realize the awesome wonder and power of in-person connections and immersive experiences," says the VP of Sundberg-Ferar. "Everyone I met had several definitive takeaways for home and business. It was a brilliant experience for me and I learned a lot, too." (Conference photos are being uploaded here). 

The keynote was co-delivered by Walt Disney Imagineering President Bob Weis and Shanghai Disney Resort Vice President of Operations Andrew Bolstein on "Making the Impossible, Possible"—sharing how highly skilled teams, representing dozens of disciplines, come together to create immersive experiences that inspire emotional connections with guests around the globe. More speakers at the intersection of design and business included Chris Kaye, IDSA, US Endoscopy; Peter Machaelian, Dolby Laboratories; James Sommerville, Coca-Cola;  Randy Hunt, formerly of Etsy; Nate Young, Newell Brands; Mollie Hansen, Airstream, Inc; Julia Burke, Whirlpool; Sean Carney, Philips; and Joel Kashuba, Fifth Third Bank.

Rapid-fire format speakers were Brian Roderman, FIDSA, IN2 Innovation; Seth GaleWyrick, Bresslergroup; Jennifer Peavey, IDSA, Eastman Chemical Company; Evan MacDonald, Freefly Systems; Tsai Lu Liu, IDSA, and Shea McManus, North Carolina State University; Liam Hawry, Studio One Eleven; Lisa Marks, IDSA, Berea College; Kevin Young, IDSA, Continuum; Qin Li, IDSA, fuseproject; Marlisa Kopenski, Design Concepts; Max Burton, IDSA, MATTER; Florian Vollmer, InReality; Ann Maie Conrado, IDSA, University of Notre Dame; Stephen Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA, Design Science; Ti Chang, IDSA, CRAVE; and Nahla Osman of Huge. "As an industrial designer turned user experience designer, this was the best conference to discuss my passion, and It was great getting the reaction that the industrial designers in the audience also are interested in design for the end-to-end experience of a user," Osman says. "Seeing my passion echoed in the audience was very empowering and allowed for exciting discussion afterwards!”

Three panels covered relevant topics:

  • Business of Corporate Design Studios (moderated by Badve): David Dombrowski, IDSA, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare; Marc Hottenroth, IDSA, GE Appliances; Rajat Shail, Honeywell; and John Suh, Hyundai Ventures.
  • 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.
  • Future of ID and Education (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.

“I truly enjoyed the IDSA International Conference 2017 and learned a lot from all of the presentations," declares Auburn University Associate Professor and Ulm Professor Shu-Wen Tzeng, IDSA. "It was an engaging and inspiring conference that every industrial designer should not miss!”

At the IDSA Career Center 2017, designers stood up to draw circles and more to music during a lively Sketch Aerobics™ with Jose Gamboa, IDSA. "For me, it's incredible to see that every time I direct a Sketch Aerobics™, the participants really enjoy working hard and a lot of them contact me to let me know how much they enjoyed the workshop and how it helps them rediscover a passion for practice," says Gamboa.

Then attendees learned Simulation in CAD for Designers from Jeff Smith, IDSA, of Autodesk. The IDSA Portfolio Review filled up quickly, as professionals, educators and IDSA Board members took a closer look and offered advice to students and those looking to advance their design careers. "The Portfolio Review was one of the best ones yet," says Meghan Preiss, IDSA, who graduated in August 2017 from Savannah College of Art and Design. "The room was full of inspirational designers paying it forward to the next generation of designers. I’ve made invaluable connections at IDSA conferences, and through the Society," says the chair of IDSA's Students Special Interest Section.

IDSA Awards winners were announced—as were new inductees into IDSA’s Academy of Fellows. The IDSA Student Merit Award 2017 winners were recognized. The winners of IDSA's Materials and Processes Special Interest Section's Student Thermoformed Parts Competition, and Model Solution's Model One Awards, also were announced. In the evening, shuttle buses took attendees around the city and beyond to exciting design studio open houses. About a dozen youngsters (possibly future designers?) accompanied their attendee parents to catch the magic of innovation consultant Michael Mode of Big Lightbulb, Inc.and the feathered friends of Francie Krawcke from Michigan Avian Experience. Other speakes on Super Saturday included Mark Zeller, Fisher-Price; Ryan Ringholz, PLAE; Michael Laris, IDSA, PlayPower; and Steve Burris, KIDS II.

The IDSA/Eastman Education Lab Symposium 2017: Emergent Pedagogy in Design, was chaired by Scott Shim, IDSA, of the University of Notre Dame. The speakers were: Philip White, IDSA, Arizona State University; Chris Arnold, IDSA, Shea Tillman, IDSA, and Rusty Lay, IDSA from Auburn Univeristy; Richard Fry, Brigham Young University; Illinois Institute of Technology; Dan Neubauer, IDSA, Iowa State University; Percy Hooper, IDSA, and Kelly Umstead, IDSA, North Carolina State University; E. Scott Denison, IDSA, The Ohio State University; Ari Elefterin, Parsons School of Design; Alex Lobos, IDSA, and Tim Wood, Rochester Institute of Technology; Denise Heckman, Syracuse University; Jeff Feng, University of Houston; Stephen Melamed, FIDSA, Sung Jang and Kimberlee Wilkins, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Marshall, University of Michigan; Susan Sokolowski, PhD, University of Oregon; Ed Dorsa, IDSA, retired from Virginia Tech; Ruth Schmidt, Doblin/Deloitte; Vicki Matranga, H/IDSA, International Housewares Association; and Bob Fisher, DesignIntelligence.

Catch media coverage here. See and post your own conference reaction using #IDSA17Atlanta @IDSA on Twitter; Industrial Designers Society of America on Facebook and LinkedIn; and @IDSAdesign on Instagram.

Sponsors were Samsung, Autodesk, Eastman Innovation Lab, General Electric, Prototype Solutions Group, Savannah College of Art and Design, Sundberg-Ferar, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorksModel Solution, Carnegie Mellon University, Tactile, Appliance Design, Covestro, Philips and  .design. Partners are ArcadeAzureCore77, Gray, Plastics Industry Association, RGD, Society of Plastics Engineers, Wanted Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.