Future of the Future Draws Designers from Around the World

Sleepless in Seattle at 2015 IDSA International Conference

Hundreds of designers converged on Seattle, WA to mark IDSA’s 50th anniversary and the International Design Excellence Awards’ 35th anniversary at the 2015 IDSA International Conference—Future of the Future. More than 800 people from 20 countries, ranging from Australia to India, and Chile to Somalia, were in attendance. The reviews are flooding in.

The IDSA Education Symposium on August 19—chaired by IDSA Board of Directors Education VP Ayse Birsel and sponsored by Eastman Innovation Lab—brought together speakers, faculty and students from around the world to discuss Designing the Future of Education.

The five Student Merit Award (SMA) winnersGeemay Chia of Cleveland Institute of Art; Rachel Lopdrup of Auburn University; Mauricio Romano of Western Washington University; Rotimi Solola of University of Illinois-Chicago; and Zach Stringham of Syracuse University—were honored on stage at a lunch sponsored by Eastman Innovation Lab, and at the IDSA Awards. The Student Merit Awards were sponsored by @Dassault3DS @Solidworks.

The SMA projects were displayed on panels in the IDSA Experience, which made its debut at this conference. The Experience celebrated IDSA’s 50th anniversary with the Sounds of the ‘60s provided by @Sonos and gave attendees a chance to meet one-on-one with members of the Board of Directors.

The Experience also provided a space for Style Your Sole, where conference-goers created designs on 100 pairs of @TOMS shoes, which were donated to the Seattle children’s charity Treehouse (@TreehouseTweets). Five of those pairs were styled before the conference by industrial designers from across the country: Jason Belaire, IDSA Board of Directors West District VP and owner of ENFOQUE Design; Read Worth, COO, Oregon Design Lab; Alex Gajowskyj, CEO, Gee & Associates LLC; Nick Huber, Design Director, MESH01; and Sangmin Lee, Design and Innovation Consultant.

Local children had the opportunity to select a free pair at the Treehouse donation warehouse. "TOMS shoes are a very popular with our youth," said Kintisha Williams of Treehouse. "We were so pleased by the variety of sizes and the designers did an amazing job decorating the shoes.  We strive to boost the confidence of every youth 'shopping' in our 'store' and your shoes helped our youth celebrate and express their individuality."

The IDSA Experience also hosted a Design Foundation Silent Auction to support education. The auction continues online through Sept. 13.

Chair @SuryaVanka opened the conference with a video tour of Seattle; @AlexSteffen of Planetary Thinking delivered the keynote; and the Opening Party took over the Design Gallery.

The @MicrosoftDesign Team and others were thrilled to be captured on film in the photo booth at the @Core77 party at The Crocodile on Thursday night. “Great party!” agreed Design Swarm Leader @PaulHatch1. The swarms, which ran throughout most of the conference, got plenty of shout-outs. “Honored to collaborate,” wrote Matthew Olson (@molsonid) of Bellingham, WA. “Impressive skill and humanity,” agreed @John_Longchamps.

Hatch also complimented Vanka; John Barratt (@J_Barratt), IDSA Board Chair and TEAGUE President and CEO; and the IDSA staff— “on putting together an excellent conference. Loved it.”

“The efforts of @TEAGUE1926 @MicrosoftDesign @Eastman_EIL @samsung didn’t go unnoticed,” concurred @IDSAOregon.

Conference bags designed by IDSA Board of Directors West District VP Jason Belaire (@belworldcreate) and Fidlock, and provided by @AgoraEdge, were a hit.  “It was a pleasure indeed to contribute!” Belaire tweeted. 3D printed conference pins produced by @Shapeways with assistance from Radius were proudly worn by attendees, along with an IDSA 50th anniversary T-shirt, sponsored by @LGUS. And the Conference mobile app got off the ground with the support of Korea-based ANT Studio.

Natalie Quinnies (@nquinnies), the winner of the 2015 IDSA Undergraduate Scholarship wrote, “Haven’t even been home 24 hours and I’m already missing #IDSASeattle15. Take me back!” Jeff Lin (@Linjevity) of Art Center College of Design won the 2015 Gianninoto Graduate Scholarship, and was spotted on stage performing karaoke at the Core77 Party Thursday night.

More chances to mingle included the IDSA Mixer; Studio Tours; offsite tours at Boeing, Microsoft and The Gates Foundation; the @GRAY_Magazine Conversations panel and the TEAGUE Party.

Upon his return home, Mark Watson of @DesignProvidenc @IADRAlliance and @DTGAustralia wrote, “Safely back in Oz after a view of US design @IDSA #IDSASeattle15 #IDSAIDEA, where the old has been renewed.”

Bill Evans of @BridgeDesignSF—the firm that made headlines the same week with the announcement that it’s joining a new venture with @Ximedica—posted, “Thank you @IDSA—glad to have the opportunity to speak and meet so many outstanding designers.”

An engineer originally from India and now designing at Georgia Tech, @shivakantiitd wrote, “My first International Conference and going home with more motivation and energy. Big shout to the organizing team.”

Patricia (@ptait3): “Feeling rejuvenated after #IDSASeattle15. Very exciting things to come!” and Andres Tellez (@idatb): “Back in Raleigh after a fabulous week in Seattle @IDSA. Thank you for such an inspiring conference #IDSASeattle15. See you in #IDSADetroit16”

@Logitech (and many of its global offices) and @GeneralElectric touted about their wins of three International Design Excellence Awards each!

@PriorityDesigns had to hurry home (and we hope the team isn’t too worn out from the conference) to move to its 50,000 sq. ft. headquarters in Columbus, OH on Sept. 18. Everyone is invited to the Open House!

We had no problem with @AvantechTools and @TGinnis for their self-described “gratuitous, re-tweet, pander/shout-out to @IDSA for a terrific #IDSASeattle15 event. Inspiring, engaging and invigorating.”

The #IDSAIDEA Ceremony,  @Nuna_USA sponsored Red Carpet and @Samsung sponsored black tie Gala were held on Saturday, August 22 @Benaroya Hall with @Sonos as the official music sponsor. See the IDEA 2015 winners here.

@3MDesign stuck it to the competition with a #IDSAIDEA Gold for its Post-it Plus App—a free download. “Thanks @IDSA for a great conference to explore what’s possible for design and the future!” tweeted @3MDesign.

@Coloplast_Group and Native—with offices in San Francisco, London and Amsterdam—earned a Gold AND Best in Show for Coloplast Design DNA.

The list of IDSA Ambassadors grew at the conference, with three news ones coming on board: @thriveLLC @BannerWitcoff and @solidThinking, which also sponsored Thursday, August 20 at the conference. @BannerWitcoff sponsored lunch and a session on legal protection against Virtual Design Theft, with attorney Robert Katz.

IDSA’s Educator of the Year, Owen Foster (@Uncle_O), tweeted, “Gr8 time @ #IDSASeattl15. Go for knowledge, for the experience. But most importantly, go for the inspiring people you will call ‘friends.’”

Foster got a shout out from keynote @AlyshaNaples of @magicleap who spoke on “When Worlds Collide: Physical and Virtual Connections.” “I am feeling completely inspired by @Uncle_O. I think we may ALL be his students. Congrats, Owen!”

@Ethan_Ouimet tweeted a photo of “Make Things” captioned “Takeaway from #IDSASeattle15 and @TEAGUE1926. Such an amazing week surrounded by the people of my industry.”

@Autodesk sponsored Friday, which featured a moment of remembrance for IDSA Member and design and architecture legend Michael Graves, followed by keynotes including Jon Friedman (@designjon) of Microsoft. In “Have Cake, Eat Cake,” he discussed how after a decade of failures, Friedman learned that creating amazing new products is hard work, but getting people to use those products at any scale is almost impossible. He found an empathetic audience. “So many designers admitted their feeling of failure to me at #IDSASeattle15,” he posted on Twitter. “Evolve through failure. Have courage. Succeed BIG.”

Paolo Malabuyo (@wildchicken) of @Netflix declared “Tech Ain’t Enough” and tweeted, “Thanks @IDSA for having me as a keynote speaker at #IDSASeattle15—had some great conversations with other speakers and attendees.”

IDSA Board of Directors Central District VP @JeevakBadve of @SundbergFerar rocked it on a guitar at the Weyerhaeuser (@WoodbyWY) breakfast and on the dance floor at the Core77 Party in Seattle. “Just awesome conference experience. Speakers. Off sites. Friends. Memories,” he tweeted.

@NasahnSheppard of @REI was “honored to share the stage with some brilliant thought leaders” in the first Future of Design Leadership Panel, which also featured top representatives from Design Management Institute (@DMIFeed), @Philips, @Whipsaw_Inc, @MicrosoftDesign, @3MDesign and Johnson & Johnson (@JNJNews).

“Fantastic conversations today at #IDSASeattle15 during this wonderful design panel. Thanks @IDSA and Tom Lockwood….” wrote @PepsicCo’s @MauroPorcini, who also spoke Friday on “Corporations Need Designers More than Ever: Are we Ready for the Challenge?”

“There’s no better time to be a designer,” said Klaus @kaasgaard of @Intuit, who joined the panel Saturday after speaking Friday on “Design Driven Innovation.”

Christopher Robin (@IamUserX): “#IDSASeattle15 has been one of the richest, content-filled and best run design conferences I’ve ever attended. Thanks @IDSA”

RitaSue Siegel and Julie Heard were honored as two of the newest IDSA Fellows. The third Fellow—current IDSA Board of Directors Chair Emeritus @AustenAngell of @ModernEdge—is looking ahead. “Detroit may be the most exciting @IDSA conference ever. Great theme in one of America’s great cities.”

@CCSProvost Sooshin Choi is in the driver’s seat for the next International Conference in the Motor City. “@suryavanka set the bar too high with his work for #IDSASeattle15,” Choi tweeted. “Now I’ll have lots of sleepless nights for #IDSADetroit16!”

@IDSAAtlanta and Board of Directors South District VP Chris Livaudais had a blast. “Having fun in Seattle with some of the best designers in the world!” The chapter also was impressed with one way that IDSA makes the connections. Its “Hey kid, go get a job!” tweet referred to a white board filled with postings from some of the biggest companies and firms around, including Honeywell, TEAGUE, Techtronic, PepsiCo, Tupperware. @IDSAAtlanta was pumped up for more fun—even after going home. “Headed back to ATL. Anyone up for an after after after after party?”

They’ll have to wait ‘til #IDSAAtlanta17, when the International Conference heads South!