To support Student Chapters and their leaders in coordinating activities, we have developed this page of resources, guidelines, and infrastructure protocols. Student Chapter leaders are strongly encouraged to read through the information below to support their work.
Education Council & IDSA Staff
The members of this council serve in a number of ways and help advance IDSA's efforts in celebrating the work of our academic communities. Primarily, they are the point of contact for the IDSA Student Merit Award (SMA) competition and Student Chapters in their respective districts. Each year, they serve on the jury teams responsible for reviewing work submitted by students to select SMA District Winners and Scholarship recipients. During their two-year term, District Education Representatives may also assist with organizing the annual Education Symposium. All District Education Representatives, collectively with three professional practitioners, form IDSA's Education Council.
Maintaining the integrity of the IDSA brand is vital in ensuring a professional and consistant brand presentation. This applies across multiple platforms in both digital and physical channels. IDSA has established logos and we must insist that these graphic marks be used in order to maintain a clean brand presence. Below are a few key factors to keep in mind:
- Download IDSA Brand Guidelines document here (via Dropbox)
- Download IDSA logos here (via Dropbox)
- The IDSA logo should always be displayed in a vertical orientation, with the 'i' at the top. Reference the logo on the top of this page.
- Please do not create your own Chapter IDSA logo. We love the creativity, however this utilmately causes confusion for the IDSA brand.
- Use the same logo / branding across all of your Chapter accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
If you have questions or need graphic assets, please contact IDSA's Visual Brand Designer, Gabrielle Pisani
Event Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct applies to all IDSA student chapter events to include attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, and guests. It also pertains to all virtual platforms used during the event.
IDSA student chapter events provide a welcoming environment regardless of gender and expression, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, or religion (or lack there of).
We do not tolerate harassment or inappropriate behavior in any form. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Sexual language or imagery in talks or workshops (unless otherwise approved or is part of the session's announced subject matter)
- Sexual language and imagery at parties or on social media
- Derogatory comments related to gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, or technology choices
- Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, or harassing of attendees, speakers, or organizers, whether through messaging, comments, images, or recordings
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events
Maintaining Your Chapter
An IDSA Student Chapter may be established at a college or university with an industrial design degree program at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.
The student chapter has:
- A minimum of five (5) IDSA student members at all times
- A chapter advisor who is an IDSA professional member and is on the school’s ID faculty
- A liaison to the geographically closest IDSA professional chapter
- An elected President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer; other positions can be created as necessary
IDSA has another exciting schedule of events and programming slated for 2022, including in-person experiences! This is all on top of the many virtual and in-person activities you can expect from our local Chapter and Section communities across North America. Below you'll find key dates and links to more information on each of our major programs for 2022.
Conferences & Events
In Person & Virtual
Note: The schedule for IDC, as a comprehensive event, will include: IDC, IDSA Education Symposium, Sponsor/Exhibitor Gallery, IDEA Ceremony & Gala, IDSA Awards Ceremony, IDSA Business Meetings, and Seattle-area excursions across three days.
IDSA Education Symposium
In Person & Virtual
Each year, IDSA celebrates with the global design community on March 5 in recognition of National Industrial Design Day. First entered into the US Congressional Record in 2015 by US Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, National Industrial Design Day declares that industrial designers “improve our lives in every way and are worthy of our recognition.”
Awards & Recognitions
Undergraduate & Graduate SMA - Round 1
Selecting a School Finalist
February 1 - April 8
Undergraduate & Graduate SMA - Round 2
Selecting a District Winner
April 8 - May 9
Nominations & Elections
National Leadership Positions
Call for interest opens
Call for interest closes
Candidates posted online
August 15 - September 13 (30 days minimum)
IDSA membership voting
September 19 - October 7
Election results announced
Representation matters. Holding events where diverse attendees, speakers, and organizers are represented in the programming and in the makeup of the event itself at every level is what creates a connection and a reason to return.
Prioritizing diversity and inclusion means finding ways to bring people from a multitude of different backgrounds, identities, and experiences to be involved in events. Considerations for diversity include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and expression, age, career level, religion, ability, and sexual orientation. This toolkit was built to help you think about content that appeals to different audiences and invite speakers from groups that are underrepresented in industrial design to speak on topics that are underdiscussed.
Prove through your event programming—from diversity of speakers to diversity of content—that your events are for everyone.
THANK YOU: The content of this page was developed in partnership with and prepared by Georgia Tech design students Jill Niland, Nandita Gupta, and Nikki Mehrjerdian, who were part of an IDSA sponsored project with the Fall 2020 Georgia Tech Service Design Class, instructed by Florian Vollmer. Additional support was provided by leaders of IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) and Design Foundation.
Phase 1: Set Objectives
Making it clear that DEI is of utmost importance is a vital first step in planning for your next event. All parties involved with the planning process should understand and accept these expectations. Showcasing the vast and beautiful diversity of our design community is one of the most powerful things we can do towards changing institutional norms and reversing inequities in our profession.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Commitment
The entire Chapter Board and event programming team must commit to ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion across gender, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and geographic region (for digital events) for the event, including speaking roles, facilitators, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees, and must strictly adhere to it.
Create an Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement
Create a clear DEI statement specifically for the event and publish it on your event page. This statement can be succinct but should be unique to your chapter, so you can be intentional about your DEI goals for your community.
The motto "bringing all people together for everyone" is a good place to start, followed by "[IDSA Chapter Name] is committed to ___." Refer to key statements in this Toolkit as well as the Code of Conduct on the COR page to include in your statement. It must be clear that IDSA has zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination (which also applies to social media around the event).
Set Goals and Objectives
Set specific goals and objectives that align with your DEI statement, establish clear intentions for your event, and ensure you are planning with efficiency. Helpful questions to ask during this part of the phase include:
- What do you hope to achieve with this event?
- Who is this event intended for?
Phase 2: Planning
Every time you make a decision about your event, consider the individual needs of people from a range of ages, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, abilities, etc. This goes to the heart of forming an effective diversity and inclusion policy.
Religious or Cultural Holidays
When determining a date for your event, don't forget to research religious or cultural holidays to ensure they don't overlap.
Pro-tip: If your event is virtual, international holidays may be an important consideration too.
While IDSA encourages chapter events to have a nominal registration fee for attendees (with a preferential rate for IDSA members), consider the goals and objectives you initially set for the event. The decision to charge registration fees and how much will depend on the initial goals and objectives you set. It may be worth considering offering a certain number of no-cost registrations to ensure a wide range of participants can attend.
Ensure promotion and invitations are distributed in an inclusive manner. Share information in a way that multiple audiences can view (such as on social media).
Event graphics should be clean and legible. Pro-tip: Avoid italics on event graphics. For individuals with certain impairments or disabilities, italics can be difficult to read.
Make sure your online images promoting the event and on social media give equal visibility to people of different genders, ages, races, abilities, career levels, etc.
Ask participants and presenters if they need accommodations in advance. Not only does IDSA have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accomodations to those that need them, it's simply the right thing to do.
Pro-tip: Use closed captioning software for virtual events hosted on a meeting platform. Contact Korie Twiggs for more information on the software IDSA uses.
Phase 3: Event Day
Take steps to ensure the event day goes smoothly and you provide a meaningful experience for all attendees and participants. Every detail matters.
You may have already thought of this during the Planning phase, but be mindful of the start and end time for your events. Alternate between daytime, evening, and weekends to ensure that everyone can participate without sacrificing committments ouside of work. Schedule virtual events on a day or at a time that works for multiple timezones worldwide to ensure as many people as possible can participate.
Pro-tip: Virtual weekday events during business hours allow for professional development opportunities with limited impact to work-life balance considerations.
State Your Commitment Upfront
At the beginning of the event, start with a brief statement on your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Pro-tip: Sharing this commitment also helps establish a welcoming and safe environment for attendees.
Facilitation and Q&As
Select a moderator ahead of time to facilitate discussions. Make it their responsibility to ensure that no one monopolizes the discussion and that each person is given an equal opportunity to speak.
For Q&As, try starting with a woman, member of a minority group, or early-career professional. This helps ensure underrepresented voices are heard and may also provide the safety and confidence to those who might not otherwise share their thoughts.
Pro-tip: Assigning a time keeper can also help to ensure that all voices are heard and that the event stays on track.
Phase 4: Evaluation & Impact
Use feedback to establish best practices for future events and understand how you performed against your stated goals.
- Send a feedback survey to all attendees post-event to evaluate successes and pain points.
- Measure the impact of your diversity actions and use the feedback to set goals for future events.
Looking for Collaborations?
Here are a few groups to contact:
- IDSA’s DEIC: Learn about the leaders at IDSA.org/DEI and email DEIC@idsa.org
- Women in Design SF: https://www.womenindesignsf.com/
- Women in Industrial Design Chicago: https://womenidchi.com/
- Where Are the Black Designers? https://wherearetheblackdesigners.com/
- Black Designers Ignite: https://blackignite.com/
- Black Artists + Designers Guild: https://www.badguild.info/search-directory
- Indige Design Collab: https://www.indigedesign.org/
Looking for Diverse Speakers?
We are working to build our own database, but in the meantime, here are some resources we’ve found:
- A Reparative List for the Male-Dominated Conference (from Women Talk Design, an organization that elevates women and gender non-binary speakers and empowers event organizers with resources to engage more diverse speakers)
- Directories of designers, including Black, Latinx, Asian & Pacific Islander and queer designers (from Women Who Design)
Want to Support Underrepresented Youth?
Interested in working with a local program that supports underrepresented youth in design? Jacinda Walker, the founder of designExplorr, has generously provided a resource map of these organizations in the U.S. Read her article here and see the map here.
If you are already part of a group that is taking initiatives to improve the lack of diversity in design, please get in touch with Jacinda so that she can add your organization to the map.
Looking for More Resources?
Looking for more resources for self-education? Check The Inclusion & Diversity Compendium for Designers (compiled by Marissa Louie, UX Director at Expedia Group and IDEA 2021 juror, and recommended by dozens of diverse designers and design leaders from Expedia Group, Designers Guild, and other members of the design community)
What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity: Variety of abilities, skills, experiences, and cultural backgrounds
Inclusion: To value and leverage differences to achieve superior results
Why focus on Diversity and Inclusion in events?
Not only is inclusivity crucial for diversity efforts to succeed, but creating an inclusive event will prove beneficial for attendee participation and engagement.
Who is this toolkit for?
This toolkit is designed for IDSA Chapter leaders, event content planning teams, and anyone in the organization interested in learning best practices for planning diverse and inclusive events.
How do I use this toolkit?
Use this toolkit as a step-by-step guide to planning your next IDSA event. Utilize the resources and content to find relevant supporting material to best engage your attendees.
Why does Diversity and Inclusion matter in industrial design?
According to the 2019 Design Census, only 3% of designers across disciplines are Black. 71% are white. And although 61% of working designers in the U.S. identify as women, the percentage of female creative directors and heads of design is just 29%.
Based on information shared at IDSA’s 2018 Women in Design event that prompted the creation of Women in Industrial Design Chicago, it is estimated that only about 19% of working industrial designers in the U.S. identify as female, despite an approximate 50/50 gender split in academia. (Within IDSA membership in 2020, the gender breakdown based on provided data amounted to 67% male, 31% female, and .5% non-binary members).
To date there is no widespread statistical data in the U.S. on women in the industrial design profession outside of research studies in academia conducted by DEIC leader Betsy Barnhart, IDSA, among others. According to the Design Economy 2018 report from the Design Council UK, 95% of working industrial designers in the UK identify as male.
One of the aims of IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) is to be a catalyst in transforming industrial design—from within IDSA, in ID education, and in industry—so that the ID profession better reflects our diverse country and world. IDSA Chapters, through localized events and programming, play an important role in this change.
IDSA Professional Chapters are communities built around geographic areas in the United States. They exist in places where there are clusters of industrial designers and other design professionals and their reach expands into neighboring areas where the designer population is more sparse. Professional Chapters provide professional development as well as personal and professional networking opportunities. Membership in a chapter is an automatic benefit of paid IDSA membership.
For more information, please contact Korie Twiggs, Community Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
The IDSA Sections Network, re-energized in 2021, includes returning and new areas and leadership. We look forward to growing the Sections Network to serve a diversity of IDSA members. IDSA Special Interest Sections provide:
- Member-generated repositories of design knowledge, with new operational infrastructure to better support Section leaders
- Continuing education opportunities for professional development within your design specialty and beyond
- A mechanism for connecting subject matter experts throughout the greater design community
IDSA Student Chapters provide rich academic and professional growth environments for students to organize around their career aspiration at colleges and universities across the United States. These localized, school-based communities create an invaluable support network for those who participate. Official IDSA Student Chapters enjoy the benefits of using IDSA's globally recognized identity and receive operational support resources from IDSA headquarters in the fulfillment of their activities. Additionally, they are able to participate in the Society's annual Student Merit Award (SMA) competition and other programs offered by IDSA that are built to enhance the college experience and assist in the transition to the professional workforce.
IDSA Student Members, through their involvement with Student Chapters, have the opportunity to learn new skillsets, gain visibility, and connect to a larger network of other similarly motivated individuals. The legitimacy that the IDSA Student Chapter status provides allows the participants to effectively establish solid relationships with professional designers in their area and gives the group instant credibility in the community.
Find a Student Chapter near you
Just like IDSA's network of Professional Chapters, Student Chapters are organized into Districts. Currently, there are 60+ schools in North America with active IDSA Student Chapters.
What do Student Chapters offer?
Student Chapters are able to produce and host programming for other students in their area and at their school. These events can take form in many ways, from panel discussions and interactive workshops to social gatherings and community service.
The importance of learning from one another and from professionals while preparing for life after college can't be understated. Student Chapters often participate in portfolio reviews, mock interviews, job fairs, and other activities that are aimed at preparing young talent for professional practice.
Connecting to other designers is one of the most powerful and tangible results of joining IDSA. Your membership makes it possible for chapters across the country to create meaningful meeting places for designers to share knowledge and make long-lasting connections. Our expansive network of designers covers the globe and instantly becomes available to you upon joining IDSA.
How to form a Student Chapter
An IDSA Student Chapter may be established at a college or university with an industrial design degree program at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels.
The Student Chapter has:
- A minimum of five (5) IDSA Student Members at all times
- A chapter advisor who is an IDSA Professional Member and is on the school’s ID faculty
- A liaison to the geographically closest IDSA Professional Chapter
- An elected President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer, and creates other positions as necessary
Need some assistance?
If you are interested in creating an IDSA Student Chapter at your school, please write to us at email@example.com or call us at 703.707.6000. For more information on where industrial design programs are available, please visit IDSA's ID Schools list.
Are you a leader of your local Student Chapter? Learn about general IDSA Chapter Officer rules and best practices via our Chapter Officer Resources page: IDSA.org/COR.