#CDDC16: Industrial "Strength" Design Shines in Steel City

IDSA’s Central District Design Conference (#CDDC16) attendees are abuzz about the event, which was immersed in design and history at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh from April 1–2, 2016. “I think it was just amazing to see the eagerness of the young talent and the experienced professionals exchanging and sharing thoughts on the fundamentals of ID,” says CDDC Chair Jeevak Badve, who serves as Central District VP on IDSA’s Board of Directors. “There were very engaging presentations from the makers from disparate industry categories, who somehow weaved thoughts to arrive at the same conclusion—if you don’t squeeze the essence of your brand valve in your product,  you risk losing your business value proposition.”

“CDDC delivered double-header wins—combining practical, hard-hitting programs with fascinating, off-site studio tours and events,” says IDSA Executive Director Daniel Martinage, CAE, who was on hand for two days of sessions, panels, tours and the Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS-sponsored Student Merit Awards (SMA).

The winner of the Central District SMA is Patrick Shields, S/IDSA, a recent industrial design graduate and former IDSA Student Chapter president, from Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) in Grand Rapids, MI. "I'm honored and extremely happy to win," he says. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my work and thinking, and represent KCAD!" His presentation included Sherpa, Hex, Bissell 3-in-1 Stair Tool and Hiker Location System.

Professional and student designers met and exchanged ideas face-to-face as the theme Industrial “Strength” Design shone through in Steel City. The timing couldn’t have been better as CDDC attendees got to tour the exhibit featuring legendary industrial designer and IDSA Fellow Peter Muller-Munk. “Silver to Steel” is curated by IDSA Member Rachel Delphia.

Twitter moved fast. “I agree with Peter Muller-Munk—a useful refrigerator is beautiful!” quipped IDSA Board of Directors Chapter VP Rebecca Alvord of GE Appliances, CDDC platinum-level sponsor, which added— “The Muller-Munk exhibit at CMOA is a great backdrop for #CDDC16!”

IDSA Fellow Tucker Viemeister spoke on “Peter Muller-Munk and Me: Parallel Lives” and lent his expertise in academia and the business of design to the Portfolio Review.

“A lot of fun last night,” posted @IamJaeChang. “Thanks for putting on #CDDC16,” wrote @parrishryan, “that was a lot of fun!”

“Informative, deep and bold” wrote @dbiya of Badve’s talk on Industrial “Strength” Design. “@BISSELLclean great presentation [by Dave Miller] at #CDDC16,” she added, along with “Great start and opportunity to meet wonderful people in #industrialdesign.”

Saga MKTG’s Marcus Burrell and Eric Thomas were so excited, the #CDDC16 speakers posted a blog about their #CDDC16 experience. “Brilliant design seems to just recede into the background and become a part of the tapestry of life,” wrote Thomas on LinkedIn. “Do we ever really stop to say, ‘Who comes up with all this stuff?’”

“I was more than impressed—I was inspired—by the minds that were assembled, and humbled by the talent,” he added. “Industrial designers are on the front lines, fighting the good fight for functional beauty…. Design is about solving problems and there aren’t many people that shoulder that responsibility, quite like industrial designers.” Read more.

Studio tours of MAYA, Daedalus, Bally Design, Inc. and 4Moms earned rave reviews.

From Eric Anderson, FIDSA, co-director of the Integrated Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University: “CDDC back in Pittsburgh after far too long! Off to a great start. Go Jeevak and IDSA Team!”

“Beautiful experience maps from Tom Bonnell, [IDSA, of] @Philips,” tweeted @James_Lua. “@BoschGlobal creating anything and everything, and doing it well.”

“Gather the right people at the table. Don’t have functional and divisional silos…. The secret to disruptive innovation? Human-centered design,” Lorenz Hagenmeyer, PhD, of Bosch was quoted as saying.

Other speakers included: Carl Price, FIDSA, Bose; Christopher Kaye, US Endoscopy; John Adams, IDSA, Ariens Company; Julian Maturino, Pittsburgh Glass Center; Jason Boone and Nate Lucas, Urban Tree; Anna DeBoer, Jewel Box Jewelers; Michael Laris, Playworld; Damian Mycroft, Coca-Cola.

Gold-level sponsors are: CMOA; Eastman Innovation Lab; Philips; Sundberg Ferar. Bronze-level sponsors are: 4Moms; CMU Integrated Innovation Institute; Core77;  Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS; KeyShot; Renner Otto IP; solidThinking; Wacom; and Washington Penn Plastic Co., Inc. Metaphase is a CDDC16 supporter.

Can’t get wait to get more IDSA? Registration is open for District Design Conferences in the South at Auburn University; Midwest at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign; and Northeast at the High School of Art and Design in the heart of New York City. And this summer, join us for IDSA’s International Conference in Detroit. Follow @IDSA #IDSADetroit16 on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The International Design Excellence Awards (#IDSAIDEA) Ceremony and Gala will be held on August 17 at the iconic The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.