CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT: IDSA NYC

 

After recognizing the IDSA Atlanta and IDSA Ohio-Central chapters for how they've strengthened their design communities this year, we turn to IDSA New York City. Led by chapter chair Peter Schon, IDSA and co-chair Michiko Stas, IDSA, this chapter holds a special place for industrial design in a metropolis teeming with design history and a diverse pantheon of innovators.

In March, the chapter partnered with local firm Smart Design to hold a Portfolio Workshop at the School of the Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan. During NYCxDESIGN in May, Schon and Stephan Clambaneva, IDSA organized events that considered sustainability, augmented reality and the future of mobility through an ID lens.

Throughout the year, IDSA NYC hosted designer meetups and panel discussions with legends in the ID field, such as Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, Lucia DeRespinis and Carl Gustav Magnusson. Schon also represented the Society as IDSA partnered with BetterBin: a competition headed by the NYC Department of Sanitation that called for a more sustainable redesign of the city's litter baskets. The winning design will be announced soon.

 

Below, the IDSA NYC chapter leaders recount what they’ve accomplished in 2019 and what they're aiming for in 2020.

What did your chapter accomplish this year, and how did you do it?

While we always wish we could do more, 2019 was strong year in which we re-energized our connection to the New York City schools while growing our connections to the community. We continued our collaboration with the New York City Department of Sanitation on the BetterBin competition. Early in the year, we re-introduced our portfolio review in collaboration with the SVA Ground Floor Incubator and Smart Design. We followed this up with our Gravity Sketch Workshop featuring Nick Baker and hosted by (who else) Smart Design.

Jean Jacques L’Henaff at Grohe and Tucker Viemiester spearheaded two wonderful “Perspectives” events, looking back at the history of industrial design; and we were also really excited to partner with our friends at Hyloh to host “There Are No Sustainable Materials," a panel discussion on sustainability, materials and how the systems we put in place to manage them ultimately determine their actual sustainability.

Finally, we’re proud to be getting back to basics by reintroducing studio tours and semi-regular networking meetups. We’re looking forward to continuing these in 2020.

Why do you think you succeeded? Did you do anything different?

To be sure, our successes were the result of hard work, but they would have been impossible without our partners. Building relationships with partners who share common interests was critical to everything we’ve done. Our partners are our lifeblood, at different times supporting us through event content, venues and even sponsorship. 

Tell us about your chapter. What makes it special?

IDSA NYC benefits from being in (what we think is) the greatest city in the world. It is the heart of a large and vibrant creative community that includes some of the best talent around, as well as a number of certified legends!

What are your short-term and long-term chapter goals?

In the short term, we’d like to see some of the events that we've run as one-off’s become annual commitments that the community anticipates and supports. Additionally, we’d like to increase the number of people participating in chapter leadership. It’s hard work and it gets a lot easier when you can spread the load. In the long term, we’d like to build more partnerships and sponsorship opportunities so that we can provide more value to our community.

What are you looking forward to?

We are looking forward to bringing more people into the chapter and continuing to expand our collaborations across design disciplines, professional levels, cultures, generations, mediums/technologies/platforms etc. As we look into the future, we can’t help but be excited by the possibilities!