Made in the Future | Colin Raney

Technology is rearranging our relationships with design. Our tools are getting smarter, data is influencing our process and the user is often our co-creator. All of this changes how we approach the craft of design. 

Colin Raney will consider how new technologies such as 3D printing are creating new possibilities and challenging traditional notions of design.


Recapturing the Soul of Design | Jon Pittman

The industrial revolution decoupled the connections among designing, making and using things. Subsequent advances into mass production and mass consumption led to a parade of generic products made by—and for—no one in particular. Design lost its soul.

Today, the increasing accessibility, affordability and flexibility of technologies such as design tools, 3D printing, robotics and computer-controlled subtractive manufacturing are bringing designing and making together again. Jon Pittman asks, can the current technological revolution help us recapture the soul of design?


Tech Ain't Enough | Paolo Malabuyo

Those who work in a technology-driven industry can develop a bit of hubris considering how much our innovations have transformed the lives of billions of people around the world. But it's not a simple, three-step process of innovate, change the world and profit.

Paolo Malabuyo has spent the last 20 years working on hardware, software, service and content innovations across a wide variety of industries: enterprise software, consumer electronics, social discovery, social game networks, automotive and entertainment platforms. He's going to share his thoughts on an innovation framework that may help explain successes and failures as well as prepare us to transform the world.


The End of Product Failure: Technologies That Will Remove the Risk from Product Innovation | Chris Murray

What are the odds a new product will still be around in two years? Depending on the source, between 25-95 percent of consumer goods eventually fail in the market.

Nearly every product failure can be traced to a decision based on either lack of user need, failure to satisfy the user need or overestimating the extent of the user need. Chris Murray asks: imagine the impact on product innovation if we knew our mistake before committing ourselves. He says properly applied, technologies such as the Internet of Things, facial expression recognition software and rapid prototyping could mean the end of product failure.

The Forecast of Design Panel Discussion | Thomas Lockwood, PhD

Clearly we are in a new frontier. Design is so relevant to the core of every business, that there are now new converging interests in design leadership. What is the future of design leadership? By the end of this conference, we will be closer to finding out. 

This last session is not a concluding summary of the conference, rather, it's a fresh perspective as an open dialog with some of the world’s most advanced design leaders including: Eric Quint, 3M; Klaus Kaasgard, Intuit; Sean Carney, Philips; Dan Harden, IDSA, Whipsaw;  Carole Bilson, IDSA, DMI; Mauro Porcini, IDSA, PepsiCo; Nasahn Sheppard, IDSA, REI; Ernesto Quinteros, J&J; and Steve Kaneko, FIDSA, Microsoft. 

The panel, led by Thomas Lockwood, will explore alternative futures and address some of the most curious and challenging questions. Who really leads design—designers or business people? As a design leader, what is your greatest challenge? Do design leaders need business degrees, and vice versa? Is design leadership fun? What's the future for designers in corporate, consultancy and independents? What's the career path for an industrial designer that wants to stick with designing, or shift into leading?

Who leads experience design—ID, UX or customer service? Do industrial designers need to dive into holistic user experience design? Is design becoming a brand, an experience or a commodity? What are the trends in design leadership, and what are some possible future scenarios? How should an industrial designer prepare for the future? 

This is not the end of the conference; it is the beginning of the future. 


The Future Will Be Boring (and Awesome) | Paul O'Connor

A decade from now, moonshots will still be moonshots—inspiring, but unlikely. So how can we use these next 10 years productively, improving the world around us? What if instead of gazing at the moon we studied the ignored corners of our everyday lives?  Paul O'Connor will detail the shifts in technology—from the Nest thermostat to Amazon Dash button—and global consumer expectations that have transformed these forgotten moments of our lives into massive businesses. He will outline the principles and pitfalls of redesigning our most mundane experiences and just might convince you why being boring—isn’t such a bad thing after all.

The Future’s Wild Permission | Alex Steffen

The future demands that we reinvent, redesign and rebuild the world around us. In the next couple of decades, we need to rebuild our cities to accommodate the next, two billion urban people in socially equitable ways, adapt to new technological capacities and accelerating change  and make a massive turn towards planetary sustainability—moving especially towards carbon neutrality.

Alex Steffen asks, “How might we learn to imagine the huge, fast, widespread innovations our planetary crisis demands? Might it be that knowing we must change so much actually frees us to think in new ways—that it gives us a new permission to design the world to come to be better than the present we have?”


The Internet of Beings: What The Next Generation of Connected Things Can Tell Us About The Future | Genevieve Bell

The Internet of Things is getting a lot of airplay right now. It is the next big thing in a long unfolding conversation about the future of technology and all things digital and connected. What is getting connected to this next internet is deeply revealing and offers a set of insights into the future we are building collectively and will one day inhabit. Anthropologist and technologist, Genevieve Bell samples some of the newest, smart-connected things and offers a reading about the future they foretell.

The New Industrial Revolution Panel Discussion | Jay Greene

Jay Greene, award-winning business reporter for The Seattle Times and previously Businessweek magazine’s Seattle bureau chief, will moderate this panel that will explore why in design, making is as much an ethos, as it is a necessity. As designer-makers in the 21st century, we generally believe that the things we make are part of ourselves, an extension of our identity that allows us not only to distinguish ourselves, but also to invite others into our creative community.

As a result, the design industry is changing—from the mass production methods of the past to a new era led by a new generation intent on doing, co-making, adopting DIY approaches and creating new tools that serve new needs. This panel will ask, how will the new industrial revolution transform our profession and influence our society?



The Next Wave of Healthcare Innovation | Bill Evans

Healthcare is an integral part of our social infrastructure. Two major demographic and economic factors are going to dominate the future of global healthcare in the next 50 years in both the developed and the developing world: aging and spending per capita. Bill Evans, founder of Bridge Design, will outline these trends and how they will impact designers and consumers of healthcare products and services across the globe. He also will speak on how technology and innovation—with the aid of designers—can help shape the healthcare ecosystem of the future.


The Power of Simple | Kavita Shukla

Kavita Shukla’s breakthrough design—FreshPaper, a simple, spice-infused paper that keeps food fresh—began as a middle school science project. Shukla began selling her product out of a stall in a Cambridge, MA, farmers’ market. Now it’s been heralded by everyone from The New York Times to Oprah for its potential to address the massive global challenges of food waste and hunger.

The Problem with Problems | Patrice Martin

Designing for big problems like teen pregnancy, clean water, youth unemployment and the challenges of systemic poverty have taught Patrice Martin a lot about how to tackle tomorrow’s problems today. She’ll share her experiences finding solutions in unexpected places, reframing the big questions so that they lead to the right answers, and why—even in extreme poverty—universal human experiences like joy, fun and aspiration often point the way forward. Learn why the best solutions often can be found on the periphery of development’s big challenges, and why thinking like a designer is more important now than ever.


Thriving in a Culture of Risk | Nathan Martin

Most businesses are built upon doing one thing well and replicating it. So how do you grow a company that does exactly the opposite—invents only new products and experiences in extremely short timelines using non-linear processes? Nathan Martin explores how you take a staff of industrial engineers, software developers, roboticists and artists, and ask them to work well outside of their disciplines. From mind-controlled bikes to balloon selfie machines to soccer balls with eyes, Martin takes you behind-the-scenes at the innovation studio that works with brands, but can’t be defined by conventional labels. 


Vibrator Design as a Reflection of Culture | Ti Chang

You can see the beliefs and culture of a society by examining the objects it produces. From simple wooden chopsticks to complex coffee machines, the design of objects can reflect our values—for better or worse. This point can be emphasized by examining the controversial and often taboo topic of female sex toys, and vibrators in particular. By tracing the design evolution of a vibrator, we can appreciate the immense change in social attitudes with regard to the experience of sexual pleasure. Ti Chang designs vibrators.

When Worlds Collide: Physical and Virtual Connections | Alysha Naples

Once upon a time, interaction was three-dimensional and physical— think knobs, buttons and dials. It was primarily the industrial designer in control. In the last decade or so, we've been putting touchscreens on nearly everything, digitizing interactions and relegating them to two-dimensional screen space and the purview of interaction and graphic designers.

Alysha Naples says now, we are about to undergo another paradigm shift in computing and will need to shift expectations around design, materiality and experience. Breaking away from screen-based interaction paradigms is not going to be easy—as Naples knows firsthand—but it will be an opportunity for designers of different disciplines to collaborate in a new and immersive space.