#Materials Matter | Farrell Calabrese, IDSA

As the world continues to rapidly innovate, the way we interact with products is changing. Keeping the end-user at the heart of your design is increasingly important—as are the materials you use. Please join the Eastman Innovation Lab’s Farrell Calabrese, IDSA, to explore how materials can inspire new possibilities, helping you create designs that are as impactful as they are beneficial to the world around you.

Design: Do, Lead, Do, Lead | Thomas Lockwood, PhD, IDSA

Most industrial designers focus on mastering the art and science of design doing. That's great, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Empathy: Staring in to See Out | Greg Aper

We constantly hear about empathy and how important it is for designers.  But what is empathy, exactly?  How do we cultivate it?  Why is it so important to our future as creative problem solvers? Join Greg Aper, IDSA, as he defines, demystifies and deconstructs empathy on a guided, whimsical tour of this emotional ability. Aper will set aside design clichés and buzzwords in an attempt to explain why empathy is the most critical skill to the future of design. This is not design thinking. This is how to design thinking.

How to Find the Humanity in an Inanimate Object | Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson will share the failures and successes he encountered in making "Linotype: The Film."

“People kept describing it as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’ and ‘A Machine that Changed the Human Race,’” says Wilson, “but I could barely figure out how the damn thing worked.”

By examining the linotype and meeting people who were passionate about this long-forgotten piece of technology, not only did he learn how to make a film, he learned how to tell a story and how to be a human.

No Excuses | Kyle Maynard

There are no worthy excuses. No matter how challenging your difficulties may seem, everyone has the ability to overcome. Kyle Maynard will show us how.

Maynard was born with a condition known as congenital amputation that left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. He will chronicle his life experiences and relate his emotions to the audience. His accomplishments as an athlete speak for themselves, but Maynard believes it’s a part of his mission to show others they’re capable of achieving greatness in their lives as well.

Mixing humor and hard truths, Maynard understands what it takes to teach perseverance, even when you’re hit with setbacks. We all have things in life we wish we’d do something about, instead of continuing to hesitate. Maynard’s words will inspire us to act!

Power to the People: Empowering Humans Through Design Thinking | Damien Vizcarra

Design and innovation once focused on creating and communicating differentiation. While design still plays a role in product positioning, today, it also seeks to make users smarter and stronger.

Damien Vizcarra believes designers have the opportunity, and perhaps the responsibility, to use the power of design thinking for good. He’ll cover democratization (what are the political implications of universal access to 3D printing and video editing; how else might we empower the masses in the future); collaboration (the ethics of design thinking); and socialization (could democratizing design thinking change the structure of society).

Sketch On! A Workshop | Jeff Smith, IDSA

Sketching is a visual language, capturing ideas on paper, and these days, on a screen. There is a foundation and there are rules to this visual language. Come sketch with Jeff Smith, IDSA, education manager for Autodesk, in a hands-on workshop. He will lead participants through a series of drills followed by the “how” and “why.” Smith has a simple theory—practicing with the right skills, everyone can improve!

The Human-Oriented Side of Design | Mike Neustedter

There is always risk and unpredictability working in the outdoors—especially with bodies in motion. Paradox Sports faces these challenges every day while taking people with disabilities into the backcountry to rock climb, mountaineer, ice climb, kayak or raft.

Executive Director Mike Neustedter finds that a critical element in providing a successful experience is safe and efficient adaptive gear. Paradox Sports researches, tests and customizes equipment—to provide each participant with the highest-quality experience possible. See how the gear team achieves its number one goal of considering how design interacts with the intended user.

Mike Neustedter, executive director at Paradox Sports, will explore how adaptive equipment designers are putting themselves into the shoes of the person they are designing for in order to improve or make the lives of the intended user better. Beyond technical specifications and usability, Paradox Sports focuses on helping develop design solutions that are worthwhile for that person in order to change their life for the better.

The Method Designer | Michael Paterson, IDSA

Michael Paterson, IDSA asks: are you a method designer? We have a duty as designers to utilize experiential or immersive insight gathering as an integrated aspect of our process. It not only allows us to achieve a level of empathy with the user—it arms us with a tacit knowledge that makes our design effort more focused and purposeful.

With method acting, Stanislavski set out to convey "truth" through a more human system of acting—encouraging actors to build a cognitive and emotional understanding of their role. “Method designing” describes a similar approach to design—one that applies common sense over complex frameworks. Paterson will share examples from his experiences to demonstrate how an empathetic approach leads to relevant and compelling product experiences. We will explore what is the least we can do when research is not in project scope—and what we might miss if we aren’t method designers.

UX and the ID-IOT | Paul Hatch

For many years, industrial designers seemed to be the sole defender of the user and all that is good, keeping engineers and marketers away from the dark side. Meanwhile, there was a bigger battle raging between user interaction designers and developers. It ended with a new peace treaty which called User Experience. UX puts the user squarely in the center of all decisions, prioritized above other debates on cost, timing and shelf appeal.

Traditional industrial designers may frown at UX as being “what we were doing all along.” Maybe so, but in UX the whole team is on the side of user, and not just us. Paul Hatch, IDSA’s presentation will explain how to utilize this newfound power, and how this can help us with our profession’s next mission—putting ID back into IOT!

We’re In This Together: Public Interest Design | Lisa Abendroth

In response to profound human justice issues, public interest designers are emerging as a new breed of practitioner focused on building intentional and lasting solutions to social, economic and environmental concerns.

Public interest designers facilitate understanding and work across divides—collaborating with underrepresented communities and audiences with distinct needs; embracing a community-centered participatory approach to recognizing issues within environments, products and systems; and evaluating designed outcomes to build a legacy of best practices.

Lisa Abendroth of Metropolitan State University of Denver will introduce the goals and methodology of the SEED Network, an organization that provides a framework for activating ethical and sustainable, public interest design.