Midwest District Design Conference 2018 | Schedule

FRIDAY, April 6

1:00 – 1:30 Welcome | UIC Faculty   
1:30 – 2:30

Workshop | Sketching Stories               

Industrial designers use sketching to establish context, communicate ideas and—perhaps most importantly—tell stories. Telling stories is natural; it's an intuitive method to visually explain methodology, think through a problem and define a final solution. During this interactive workshop, Hector Silva and Carly Hagins will guide participants through the process of using storytelling to make their sketches more meaningful. Participants will leave the session well-equipped with tools and techniques to bring their sketching to the next level.

Presenters Hector Silva, IDSA & Carly Hagins, University of Notre Dame

Workshop | KeyShot 
3D Rendering Essentials

If you’re interested in learning KeyShot quickly for a strong foundation in creating photorealistic images or want to catch a few things you may not have known, this workshop is for you. Topics covered include import options, assigning and editing materials, applying textures and labels, HDRI and physical lighting, cameras and more. Learn about new improvements with KeyShot 7 such as new materials, improved texture mapping, new procedural textures and workspaces. You’ll also walk away with tips and tricks to make your KeyShot workflow more efficient.

Speaker: Garrett Paymon, Luxion, Inc.

2:30 –  3:30

Workshop | Gathering Design "Inspiration" from the Field

Designing without data or user input is a flat, inert exercise. Traditional methods of research, however, can feel inaccessible or out-of-sync with current design processes. Thankfully, emerging technologies—namely the mobile revolution—have made it easier than ever to capture meaningful moments from would-be users.
Ben Wiedmaier and Cam Balzer of dscout will share a contextual data collection platform where research is as easy as, “Show me what’s under your kitchen sink.” These moments, when stitched together, weave a picture of user highs, lows, wishes and needs. By the end, you’ll be armed with an easily-deployable approach to impactfully inform every step of your design process, without the research vernacular or esoteric toolkit.

Presenters Ben Wiedmaier, dscout

Workshop | KeyShot 
KeyShot 7 Advanced Feature Overview 

Looking to get the most out of KeyShot? In this workshop you will learn how to use the Pro features of KeyShot 7. You’ll be able to create high-quality visuals even faster after learning about multi-materials, the material graph, geometry editor, model sets, studios and the configurator. Animation and KeyShotXR will also be covered.

Speaker: Garrett Paymon, Luxion, Inc.

3:30 – 4:00 Coffee Break  
4:00 – 5:00 Workshop Getting Ideas Out of Your Head and Into The World  

It’s a great time to be an independent designer—the ability to make things and get them in front of the people who want them gets easier every day. New tools and shared workspaces make prototyping in your kitchen a thing of the past. Easier access to manufacturing has allowed smaller runs to be produced affordably and locally. Storytelling tools, fundraising and community come to life through crowdfunding tools like Kickstarter. 

The challenge now is, what should I make? And what’s the right way to get it out of my head and into the world?

This workshop will sketch through all of the stages required to bring a product to life independently: ideation with constraints; project budgeting; small-batch sourcing; planning for manufacturing; Kickstarter wireframing; project promotion; and fulfillment.

Come with a rough idea for something that you would want to launch (and possibly share in small groups).

Presenter |  Craighton Berman, Manual

Portfolio Review
5:00 –  6:00 Workshop | Kaleidoscope
Cutting Through the Clutter: How to Design With Brand In Mind  

The world is changing, but in many cases design has not progressed. Companies that have died — Borders, Blockbuster, Linens ‘n Things — did so because they failed to understand the new roll of design and innovation, and the ways that consumers expect the brands they love to grow with them. With the number of players and the pace of the industry both continuing to increase, there’s no question that the role of a designer has changed. But how do you cut through the clutter to ensure that you’re delivering innovative and memorable brand experiences for consumers without compromising the equities of a brand? This hands-on workshop will discuss the evolving role of designers in the boardroom, the keys to designing with the brand in mind, and why a holistic approach to product and packaging design leads to effective, results-driven solutions.

Speakers: Kelly Lin and Audra Norvilas of Kaleidoscope


Networking Event | TEAMS Design, 1812 W. Hubbard St. 
IDSA’s Chicago Chapter and UIC Student Chapter will host an after party at TEAMS Design! We will be hosting an Iron Sketch—emceed by High Sierra Industrial Designer, Graham Allan—between the ID schools attending the Midwest DDC. Come for a night of networking, fun, food and drinks! The party is for all MWDDC attendees, please bring your badge!



8:30 – 9:00 Morning Coffee  
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome | UIC Faculty  
9:30 – 10:00

Keynote Speaker | Design to Make a Difference. Not Just Differentiate.

Design is one of Grohe’s strategic pillars and key success factors—ranking alongside quality, technology and sustainability. With studios in New York City, Shanghai and Dusseldorf, Germany, Grohe’s design team is focused on shaping consumer experiences with the brand ethos of “Pure Enjoyment of Water” in 150+ countries. Michael Seum, VP Design, will discuss how GROHE Design’s role is evolving to do more than just differentiate—it’s envisioning a more intelligent future with water.

Speaker Michael Seum, Grohe AG

10:00 – 10:30

When Talk Isn’t Cheap: Designing Cost Conversations for High-risk Pregnant Women and Their Doctors on Chicago’s South Side

When a doctor outlines a complex treatment plan, many of us would ask—how much is that going to cost? For high-risk pregnant women—even those whose direct healthcare is fully paid by Medicaid—the actual cost of going to 20+ pregnancy appointments can be thousands of dollars. Doctors increasingly are being asked to include “financial harm” as a consideration in patient care. The Cost of Care Conversation project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, uses a design-led approach to structure and support cost conversations. Kim Erwin, MDes, of the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), explores experiences of women served by three OB/GYN clinics on Chicago’s South Side and the OB-GYNs, nurses and staff seeking to deliver quality care.

SpeakerKim Erwin, MDes, Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago

10:30 – 11:00 SMA Presentations #1   
11:00 – 11:30

There’s A Big Difference Between “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and “I’m making it up as I go.”

The current day buzz around entrepreneurship tends to focus on “top down” models of business-building which tend to focus rapid-growth and massive investment. While this romanticized story has held the mainstream’s attention, the internet has given product designers the newfound ability to pursue “design-entrepreneurship”—business building which puts more emphasis on ideas, making, and storytelling to create design-focused companies from the bottom up. 

Craighton will share his “design-entrepreneurship” story through the organic growth of his housewares brand Manual and will share insights and inspiration to encourage others to pursue a path of independence.

Speaker | Craighton Berman

11:30 – 12:00 SMA Presentations #2   
12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH (SCOOPS mtg for chapter officers)  
1:00 – 1:30

Crafting Narratives: Design as Cultural Production

Throughout the 20th century, design has broadened and fragmented into a diffused array of sub-disciplines, specialisms and practices. Designers today have a greater sense of autonomy and self-determination than ever before. A key aspect of this shift has enabled designers to directly address social and cultural issues through work that sits outside the realm of mass production. Using the tools of object design, designers create potent and moving works that provoke audiences to consider their position on important subjects of our time.

Through the lens of their independent design practice, Tim Parsons and Jessica Charlesworth will discuss the process of treating design as a mode of cultural production. Considering objects as agents of change, they’ll engage humor, irony and storytelling to create new object typologies and propose alternate ways of living that comment on contemporary issues.

Speakers Tim Parsons & Jessica Charlesworth, Parsons & Charlesworth

1:30 – 2:00 SMA Presentations #3  
2:00 – 2:30


Design as Agent for Resilience

Amir Berbić will discuss a reconstruction of the visual identity design program for the 1990s Bosnian refugee camp in Denmark, originally designed by his father. Starting with a family history narrative assembled from found imagery and video footage he expands the project by engaging design as a reconstructive practice, reinterpreting the camp’s visual identity and retroactively designing for the camp as a way of preserving memory of his experience as a refugee. The project aims to position design as an agent that can enable vulnerable populations to assert a form to their identifying image, make sense of extreme circumstances, contest subjection, and build community. 

SpeakerAmir Berbic, UIC

2:30 – 3:00

Designing Beyond Empathy

End user empathy will get a product to parity. Extending that empathy to clients, teams and oneself can help push product and service experiences farther. But what about a post-empathy design future where “perspective-taking” and bearing witness to another is simply not enough? Antonio Garcia of Rightpoint will explore the value (and limits) of empathy, when design research fails us and what creators can do next.

Speaker Antonio Garcia, Rightpoint

3:00 – 3:30 Coffee Break  
3:30 – 4:00

Designing at the Base of the Pyramid

Edwin Lee and David Ofori-Amoah of Ghost Lab will discuss human-centered design methods in developing products that prevent mosquito-borne diseases in poor, vulnerable and hard to reach communities. They’ll share their experience with user research and collaborative prototyping methods to develop new global public health interventions—and lessons learned designing at the intersection of philanthropic and commercial interests in developing markets. 

Speakers Edwin Lee & David Ofori-Amoah, Ghost Lab

4:00 – 5:00 Panel Discussion | Moderator, Paul Hatch, TEAMS Design  
5:00 – 5:30 Closing Remarks, UIC Faculty | SMA Winner Announced, Aaron Scott, Midwest District Education Rep  
6:00 – 8:00

Closing Party | Architecture & Design Studios, 845 W Harrison St.

Hosted by UIC ID Faculty, School of Design & IDSA Student Chapter this is event is supported through generous sponsorships from various faculty studios. Join us for some snacks, soft drinks, beer & wine and door prizes!


Thank You to Our Sponsors, Media Partners & Exhibitors

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