IDSA Announces 2021 Sections Network


In 2020, we took steps to re-energize IDSA's Special Interest Sections. Our goals were to provide more focused support to Section leaders and offer resources to advance success for Section programs and content. 

It is our pleasure to share our 2021 Sections Network with you! The 2021 Network includes 11 Sections of both returning and new areas and leadership. We look forward to a Section year filled with opportunity and engagement for IDSA members. 

If you have questions about our re-energized Sections Network, or if you would like to start a Section, please contact Korie Twiggs, IDSA's Community Manager.

A message from Stephan Clambaneva, IDSA, Sections Director:



Community is our currency

Content for the Sections will come directly from the IDSA member community. Especially during these difficult times, Sections can provide that vital connection point, sense of belonging, and ongoing knowledge resource for our members. "There is a plethora of institutional knowledge to harness from our strongest assets: YOU, our members, the true subject matter experts," Clambaneva says. "With Section member professionals, young professionals, students, and new members, we can all be solid content contributors."

Realizing that Sections could focus more on design disciplines, IDSA decided to transform the Women in Design Section into the IDSA national Women in Design Committee and Women in Design Chapters. The WIDC and WID Chapters across the U.S. will be supported by IDSA HQ and work closely with IDSA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to fulfill DEI goals.

A new vision

The IDSA Sections platform originated with the Women's Section in 1992 and was envisioned to connect members of the IDSA community around shared interests. Over time, momentum slowed and several Sections became dormant. We're changing that now.

Original Intent 

The Special Interest Sections of IDSA were created to provide members with:

  • Repositories of design knowledge that were not necessarily bound by geographic locations, like Chapters
  • Continuing education opportunities for professional development at both the general design and specialty levels
  • A mechanism for connecting subject matter experts throughout the greater design community
  • The ability to collaborate with IDSA Chapters to host events that might highlight a specific industry topic

New Vision

  • In 2020, work began on envisioning how Sections could evolve to become a more valuable part of the IDSA membership experience
  • New guidelines, toolkits, and operational infrastructure were created to better support Section leaders
  • We asked ourselves and our community: What new tools, technologies, and platforms can we leverage to enable Sections to achieve greater success?

Creating content 

There are many ways in which Section content can fit into IDSA's year-round programming. Below is our templatized, à la carte menu of possible activations for your Section.

HQ-Produced Events 

IDSA currently has an open call for speakers and workshop presentations.

IDSA Section Leaders have the opportunity to present at national IDSA events including the International Design Conference & Education Symposium, Deep Dives, and Design Voices.

Media & Publications

IDSA has over 100K followers across its main channels on Linkedln, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The IDSA website also receives nearly 1.5 million visitors per year.

IDSA can help to find the best way to share content generated by Sections to a broad audience.

Virtual Events

Either through collaborations with an IDSA Chapter or by hosting on your own, short-form (1-hour) discussions on Zoom have proven to be an effective way for members of our community to learn from and interact with one another. Anyone can join from anywhere.

Because these events can be easily recorded, it’s also great for creating an archive of Section content.

LinkedIn Groups

We encourage Section leaders to maintain a Linkedln group that is specific to your Section's subject matter and focus. This will allow you to instantly publish content to a broad audience and easily attract new participation from designers on LinkedIn who share similar interests.

Many Sections already have established LinkedIn groups. Please check in with your current Section leader to find and join the group.

Section Officer Resources 

Want to get involved? Review our Section resource page below for key information, a list of contacts, and tips for ensuring Sections success.

Section Resources

To support Section leaders in coordinating activities, we have developed this page of resources, guidelines, and infrastructure protocols. Section leaders are strongly encouraged to read through the information below to support their Section work.


Now Available: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Event Toolkit

(originally created for Chapters, this resource is easily adaptable to Sections)



Quick Links for the Basics

Support Team  |  Training & Communications  |  Leadership Requirements

Quick Links for Event Programming

Activities & Events  |  SCARFs  |  Event Conduct  |  Finances  |  Branding


The Basics


Support Team

Stephan Clambaneva, IDSA
Section Director | Board of Directors

Korie Twiggs
Community Manager | IDSA Staff

Training & Communication

Orientation & Training

All Section officers are required to participate in a training session each year, faciliated by the Community Manager. This session will provide the necessary information and resources needed to run a successful Section.


The Community Manager and Section officers will have a formal check-in each quarter to discuss programming, general questions, feedback, HQ updates, etc.

Slack Channel

A Slack channel will be available for Section officers throughout the year to ask questions, share ideas, and receive notices from IDSA.


Leadership Requirements

Section Officers are appointed positions. Each Section has one Chair, and as many Vice Chairs as needed. 



Event Programming

Activities & Events

IDSA Sections are required to provide professional development and learning opportunities to their members. This is achieved through virtual events, resources, and other forms of engagement. While it's at the discretion of leaders to choose the best complement of activities throughout the year for their Section, here are some suggestions.

First, the minimum requirement is for Sections to host two virtual events per year (1-hour webinars) and create four articles / stories (1 per quarter) submitted to IDSA for distribution. We understand that each Section is unique so if you don't believe you can meet this requirement or have other ideas in mind, like engagement in Section LinkedIn groups, development of resources like whitepapers or sample forms, or collaborating with Professional Chapters, please let Korie Twiggs know so you can determine the best path forward. IDSA offers a number of tools, which officers may use to disseminate and amplify section content (see below): 

  • chapter+sectionUpdate: IDSA's quarterly e-newsletter to IDSA Chapter and Section leaders, with the latest information about IDSA Chapters and Sections
  • designBytes: IDSA's monthly e-newsletter to IDSA members only, rounding up the latest ID trends, news, and inspiration
  • designUpdates: IDSA's bi-weekly e-newsletter to the broader ID community, delivering the latest design news, trends, and information from IDSA
  • Deep Dives: Mini conferences with a focus on trending topics that impact the ID profession
  • Design Voices: A recurring series of one-hour virtual events that are free for IDSA members, with top design leaders discussing and debating trends and specific practice areas
  • International Design Conference: IDSA's annual IDC features professional learning experiences from influential voices worldwide, exploring the future of design and other emergent forces impacting ID
  • INNOVATION: IDSA's quarterly magazine, which serves as the voice of the ID profession
  • Member Spotlight: A feature exclusively for IDSA members. Members may share accomplishments (for example, an award received, program or initiative launched, podcast, article, or book published) to be promoted by IDSA on social media,, and in the designBytes e-newsletter

Chapter and Section Officers use Eventbrite, a free event management platform to create and promote their events. Eventbrite offers simple, user-friendly steps that make the development process easy. The platform includes a registration tool, which allows officers to know and track participants attending events. Use this link to create your Eventbrite account.

Section Chapter Activity Request Form (SCARF)

What is a SCARF?

SCARF stands for Section and Chapter Activity Request Form. This document helps IDSA track and monitor all Section experiences. IDSA uses SCARFs to help promote events and activities.

When to submit a SCARF? 

ALWAYS. Before conducting an event or other activity, all Sections must complete the online form to submit a SCARF. The Section will receive a response from the Community Manager indicating SCARF approval. 

Event Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct applies to all IDSA Section events to include attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, vendors and guests. It also pertains to all virtual platforms used during the event. IDSA Section events provide a welcoming environment regardless of gender and expression, age, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or nationality. 

We do not tolerate harassment or inappropriate behavior in any form. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexual language and 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, nationality, class, 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 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 an established brand 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
  • 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 Section IDSA logo. We love the creativity, however this utilmately causes confusion for the IDSA brand.

If you have questions or need graphic assets, please contact Korie Twiggs.

Start A Section

New Section Proposal

IDSA’s Sections are composed of members who share a passion around a specific aspect of industrial design. By hosting events and sharing experiences, Sections deliver immense membership value.


Your Information
Tell Us About the Section You'd Like to Start
(1 Chair is required; unlimited Vice Chairs as needed) list Section Board position, name, professional job title, company and email
Section Board Member Info
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520x520 @ 144 dpi or higher