#MWDDC16 Disrupts, Constructs, Transforms!

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign welcomed IDSA's 2016 Midwest District Design Conference (MWDDC16) from April 22–23, 2016. "I was pleasantly surprised that several speakers drew from the same sources to get their point across," said Conference Chair Marianne Grisdale, IDSA, who also serves as Midwest District VP on IDSA's Board of Directors, and vice president/creative director for @TEAMSDesign in Chicago. "I used a wide/broad theme but somehow many of the speakers closely converged... giving me some new topics to research and books to read for a better understanding of how to help our clients."

Friday kicked off with a sketch workshop from Jeff Smith, IDSA, of Autodesk (@adskFusion360) followed by the Designing for Those in Need workshop by Mary Beckmann (@BeckmannMary) of FirstBuild. Then, Smith took the stage again with a workshop on Fusion 360. There were two speakers from @Whirpool. Michael Kahwaji, IDSA, revealed How to Break into the Design Industry While Maintaining Your Integrity, Pride and Emotional Stability: “You need to get an internship, students!” he declared, while advising, “Be yourself. Unless you’re an @#$*()#&!. Then be someone else who’s much nicer." And Richard Gresens, IDSA, told attendees: Flex Yourself. His advice: “Before we can design effectively we really need to internalize users’ issues” and “As a designer, it’s your job to be disruptive.”

All hands were on deck for the Portfolio Review, sponsored by Eastman Innovation Lab (@Eastman_EIL), an IDSA Career Path Partner. @NascentObjects chose MWDDC16 to launch its first design incubator. Learn more about the competition. Day One wrapped up with the Opening Party at the Art & Design Building.

Saturday, Grisdale delivered opening remarks, followed by Beckmann speaking on Mind to Market.

“The new playbook values speed over secrecy.” IDSA’s soon-to-be Board Chair-Elect Megan Neese, IDSA, of @Nissan, shared How Where We Live, Will Reshape How We Move. “Great talk by @Meg_Neese on the future of mobility,” tweeted Paul Hatch, IDSA, (@PaulHatch1) of @TEAMSDesign, and chair of IDSA's 2013 International Conference.

@HeatherMcGowan of Future of Work-Future of Learning discussed The Future of Work is Learning Agility. “If I wiped out the contacts on your phone how many people could you call?," she asked the audience. "You’re already outsourcing part of your brain!”

Other speakers included: Nicholas Paredes, IDSA, of Manifest on Collaborative Genius: “As designers we need to adapt—to help the world adapt” and “We are no longer just designers, but coordinators of design.”

Kate Webster, PhD, (@DrKateBreakThru) of Breaking Thru Barriers on Quiet Power: The Key to Managing Difficult People and Situations: and Ann-Marie Conrado, IDSA, Univeristy of Notre Dame, on The Design of Development: Building a Career in Social Design. “Design for social good—design is not a career, it’s a path.”

Jason Tennenhouse, 10 IN HOUSE Strategy & Design, on Distal Design—To Crazy Land and Back Again: “If you consider the present is broken, it’s easier to see the gaps you need to fill.” Hatch spoke on UX and the ID-IoT. @AcmeDesignInc hailed Hatch as, “the defender of the user in the #IoT.” Keynote Speaker Joel Kashuba, of Webb deVlam, shared Designing the Field.

Nick Savidge, S/IDSA, a senior at the University of Illinois-Chicago, won the MWDDC Student Merit Awards sponsored by Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS. This is the third year in a row that a student from UIC has won the NWDDC SMA. "I actually just sat there for a moment because I had no idea what I was supposed to do," said Savidge. "It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but in understanding all the hard work it has taken to get to this point, I couldn't have been happier to have this opportunity! Everyone else competing was amazing and will have a crazy successful design career going forward," the former chair of the UIC IDSA Student Chapter added humbly.

Savidge's projects are Muse, DRK/NTE and Trinity Gear. His win is featured on UIC School of Design's news website.

“They are blowing my mind,” declared @Jordan_Renee Bahler, IDSA, of the 2016 MWDDC SMA presenters. Bahler is the chair of IDSA's Indiana Chapter.

"Participating as a juror for the SMAs was an honor and full of rich substance for me," said Tony Schmidt, IDSA, education chair of IDSA’s St. Louis Chapter. He said the speaker line up was tremendous. "I'm also grateful for the opportunity provided to our St. Louis Chapter to present our fall Student Design Competition. Several faculty and students expressed interest throughout the conference afterwards. All in all, a pretty amazing experience which will stay with me for a long time. Thank you!"

“Goodbye @IDSA #MWDDC16 Thank you for such a blast experience!” tweeted Adriana Rueda (@RcAdria).

MWDDC Gold-level sponsors are: Eastman Innovation Lab; TEAMS Design and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Silver-level sponsor is Nascent Objects. Bronze-level sponsors are: Acme Design, Inc.; American Custom Rotomolding; Case Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western-Reserve UniversityCollege for Creative Studies; ClariantCore77Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKSKeyShotsolidThinkingWacom and Yeh Ideology. Metaphase is a supporter.

Want more IDSA? The Northeast District Design Conference (#NEDDC!6) arrives at the High School of Art and Design in the heart of New York City from April 29 to 30. And this summer, join us for IDSA’s International Conference in Detroit. The International Design Excellence Awards (#IDSAIDEA) Ceremony and Gala will be held at the iconic The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. Follow @IDSA #IDSADetroit16 #IDSAIDEA on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and the new @IDSADesign on Instagram.

(Most speaker Twitter quotes courtesy of Hatch and Bahler.)