Authentic Stories: Bridging the Gap Between Appearance and Reality | Damian Mycroft

As industrial designers gain traction in organizations, their influence is moving from “applied design” to a deeper role in product definition.

Damian Mycroft will showcase examples of how design teams at major brands are partnering to extend their impact beyond the surface, into the core of what a company does and how it delivers to end users.

Design is the Art of Now | Anna DeBoer

Anna DeBoer’s artistic journey started in Ann Arbor, MI, growing up in a family of designers, artists and makers. Her father was an industrial designer; her mother, a television producer. Early on, she had a natural affinity for using tools to visualize her ideas—from sewing machines to power tools. Her hobby in vintage autos, and her love of athletics such as rowing and bicycling, exposed her to industrial materials like carbon fiber that have a technical beauty beyond their functional characteristics.

As she finishes her senior year of college, DeBoer recollects how all of these experiences and events gave her design inspiration in every one of her jewelry pieces. “I have always known that I am artistically inclined, athletically able, tool savvy and curious,” she says. “What I didn’t know was that every one of these attributes has a basis in design, and now resides in my design library.”

Designing for Play | Michael Laris

We spent hours on the playground as children—developing critical thinking; solving problems; learning to communicate and collaborate; and expressing compassion for others. We became who we are and formed our first friendships.

Today, these skills are still crucial to our lives as designers.  Play is not play; it’s not monkey business. It is serious development. It is the process of becoming human. Michael Laris, chief product officer of Playworld, explains the role of play in the cognitive and creative;  emotion and social; and physical and sensory development of a child.

He’ll look at the outdoor play industry and customer and user needs—and share examples of how to translate today’s play needs into innovative products.

Designing in Steel Toes: Culture and Industrial Design | John Adams, IDSA

When a hands on approach is the best way to make positive change, the wingtips come off and work boots go on. Where manufacturing is strong, industrial designers are uniquely positioned to make drastic and lasting changes in short order.

Join John Adams, IDSA, on a shared journey of changing corporate culture through collaboration, exploration, patients and good old fashioned elbow grease. He will share everyday journeys—from the factory floor to cross functional collaboration and quick and dirty prototypes, to state of the art technology and executive presentations.

Don’t Screw It Up | Jason Boone | Nate Lucas

It's the Urban Tree motto—Why? Trees are already special and it’s this Pittsburgh company’s job to simply not screw them up. Urban Tree’s Jason Boone and Nate Lucas will discuss the challenges and rewards of reclaiming and repurposing urban trees.

Invented for Life: User-Centered Innovation at Bosch | Lorenz Hagenmeyer, PhD

Placing the right products on the market at the right time is crucial for success—but how do we make this happen? User-centered innovation is one answer to this question.

Lorenz Hagenmeyer, PhD, head of user experience international at Robert Bosch, explains how the company implements user-centered innovation on a product and a strategic level. He outlines three important factors to spark creativity and enthusiasm in design and engineering teams.

Using the Bosch eBike solution as an example, Lorenz shows how design thinking methods and the integration of user research, interaction and industrial design lead to a disruptive innovation; create a great user experience; and enable tremendous market success.

Making Meaning | Tom Bonnell, IDSA

Making meaningful design is rooted in empathy and understanding people relevant to their social and cultural context, while being authentic to the brand. Tom Bonnell, IDSA, head of design for the Sleep and Respiratory Care Business Group at Philips, will share his experiences on how design creates opportunities for people with chronic sleep and respiratory conditions, to have meaningful experiences.

Medical Device Design: Challenges and Evolution | Chris Kaye

Product design consists of the fusing of the simple and complex to provide value. The world is doing its part by continually delivering complex problems for which the designer is tasked to deliver simple solutions. As fast as new tools and approaches appear, the designer is expected to seamlessly and effectively weave them into an answer that is intuitive, empathic and efficient.

A key trap for the designer to avoid is the lure of technology looking for an application.  While this will occasionally yield success, Chris Kaye of US Endoscopy believes a better approach is to thoroughly investigate the environment to discover unmet needs that can improve critical outcomes.

Peter Muller-Munk and Me: Parallel Lives | Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA

Peter Muller-Munk, FIDSA, and Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, have a lot in common. Both are silversmiths-turned-industrial designers who became IDSA Fellows. “I think I remember meeting Muller-Munk when he visited my dad, Read Viemeister, FIDSA, during discussions about merging their practices,” recalls Tucker. The Viemeisters and Muller-Munk also studied under the same educators—Donald Donner, Rowena Reed Kostellow, FIDSA; and Alexander Kostellow—who created a shared design pedagogy.

Now, Tucker shares what he sees when he looks ahead. “My story goes beyond silver and steel into our post-industrial future—where those same lessons of collaboration, innovation and beauty are pointing the way toward progress.”

Sweeping Through the Years: Design from the Turn of One Century into the Next | Dave Miller

Dave Miller, global category design lead at BISSELL, takes a closer look into a 140-year-old, family-owned, deep cleaning product company’s design innovation history—and design solutions created with strong consumer connections for their ever-changing needs.

The Bose Experience | Carl Price, FIDSA

Bose Corporation, turned 50 in 2014—just before IDSA marked half a century in 2015. Now, Carl Price, an IDSA Fellow and longtime Bose employee, will provide a closer look at Bose’s refocused brand strategy and new consumer electronics design language, and how they apply to the automotive space.

Price will shed light on Bose Automotive Systems division's product line strategy; share the broad range of ultra near field communication (NFC) headrest solutions (including the latest innovation known as N. E.A.R. technology); and reveal a more comprehensive view of how the Automotive Systems division leverages the strength of the Bose brand in the consumer space.

The Power of Storytelling | Marcus Burrell | Eric Thomas

Storytelling is the primary means of human communication. It’s how we share ideas. They allow us to overcome great differences and to rally together. Our collective experience is a story we share. Stories affect our culture and as a result, the things that we make and communicate. Eric Thomas and Marcus Burrell, senior partners at Saga MKTG, will explore how brands, products and companies tell stories inspired by culture—and how those stories create new cultural norms.

Trial By Fire | Julian Maturino

“Adopt what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.”

       -Bruce Lee

Technician Julian Maturino will discuss creating modern products using centuries-old techniques. He will draw from his personal experiences—working in production facilities, studying with masters, traveling abroad and teaching the trade—to discuss the role of transitioning from a craftsmen to a modern designer.