Q & A

I am a Designer: Ask Me Anything

If you're wondering why there weren’t any session topics at IDSA’s 2016 Northeast District Design Conference, it's because organizers didn’t need any! #NEDDC16 registration launched online weeks ago with the theme “I’m a Designer: Ask Me Anything” and the questions came flooding in ahead of time! More than a dozen speakers were asked 100+ questions online, and tackled the answers in person April 29-30 at the High School of Art & Design in New York City.

But even before the conference officially began—the fun kicked in. IDSA’s New York City Chapter, chaired by Vijay Chakravarty, IDSA, welcomed members and conference attendees to a pizza picnic in Central Park. They took a spring stroll to the conference site—the High School of Art & Design—in Manhattan, just in time for the welcome by Conference Chair Jeremy Van Hill, IDSA, and an IDSA Update by IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE.

Then the Q & A commenced:

@DanFormosa, PhD, of @4BCollective and @BrainpoolGlobal: “We don’t just need designers, we need people who know things!” and “Design is not applied—it’s integrated.”

@MarkPrommel, IDSA, @thinkPensa: “It’s the dawn of a new era” and “Teamwork is the only way to build things!”

The morning speaker line up wrapped up with Crystal Windham. She made history when she became the first, African-American, female director in GM Design’s history in 2008. This year, Windham became the director of @Cadillac Interiors.

Professionals took a closer look at students’ work during the Portfolio Review sponsored by Eastman Innovation Lab (@Eastman_EIL). “Love giving students feedback,” said Farrell Calabrese, IDSA. (@FMCalabrese) who later addressed NEDDC on Why #MaterialsMatter.

Erica Eden and Catherine Sun—directors of global design innovation at @PepsiCo: “The power that we (designers) have is visualization and prototyping.”

Chris Murray, IDSA, @Bresslergroup: “Engineers are your friend!” Calabrese on Murray: “Just blew my mind using #VR and #AR as a design tool!”

Rob @VanVarick, IDSA, of @MGravesDesign on the future of healthcare in the home: “We have an aging population and a shrinking healthcare servicing population.”

Friday evening offered studio tours @Fab @Canary and @TheNewSchool, while Saturday morning kicked off with Demetrius Romanos (@DRomanos) of @Targus: “Bring people along so they want to be a part of what you’re working on,” he advised.

Alberto Villarreal, IDSA, creative lead @Google consumer hardware group, touted: “it’s all about celebrating diversity and advancing humanity.”

Workshops were led by @Richard_Funnell @KeyShot3D; Reid Schlegel @frogdesign; and @MikeAlcazaren @adskFusion360, followed by more speakers. Angela Yeh, IDSA, @YehID: “The paradigm around the talent economy is shifting. Consultant to corporate and back again.” 

Christopher V. Carani, Esq., A/IDSA, a partner at McAndrews, Held & Malloy which is an IDSA Ambassador, addressed questions on design patent issues. 

“Everything you see in the world that nature did not create is design,” @DrorBenshetrit of @StudioDror was quoted as saying. “Start with ideas.” 

Lino Cantarella, S/IDSA, a senior at Boston's Wentworth Institute of Technology, took top prize in the NEDDC Student Merit Awards, sponsored by Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS (@Dassault3DS). “At that moment my adrenaline was on overdrive,” says Cantarella. “It’s amazing that all my hard work paid off because there were so many other incredibly talented students presenting. Thank you for this unbelievable opportunity!” His projects were: bath toy Pirate Art Wheel; sink station Lavandino; and footwear M.A.G. (Mobile Authorized Gear).

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Brendan Babiarz, S/IDSA, captured Honorable Mention, while the RIT IDSA Student Chapter faculty advisor, Professor Alex Lobos, IDSA, tweeted: "First insight from Student Merit Awards: "Design what the client wants AND the user needs"

“Inspired to party after all the cool design presentations,” posted Chakravarty. And that’s just what everyone did, heading over to the Closing Party sponsored by @PepsiCo.

NEDDC Gold-level sponsors are: Eastman Innovation Lab and Radius. Bronze-level sponsors are:Autodesk Fusion 360Core77Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKSKeyShot; PepsiCoPrimeWacom; Wanted Design; and Yeh Ideology. Supporters are: BlackHagen Design and Metaphase.

Can’t wait for more IDSA? This summer, join us for IDSA’s International Conference in Detroit, and for the International Design Excellence Awards (#IDSAIDEA) Ceremony and Gala at the iconic The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. IDSA's 2016 Medical Design Conference is set for Nov. 11-12 at the University of California-San Francisco. Follow @IDSA #IDSADetroit16 #IDSAIDEA #IDSAMedical on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and @IDSADesign on Instagram.