The Design Foundation


Board of Trustees  |  Make a Donation  |  Scholarships  |  Donor List



The Design Foundation was founded in 2001 by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) to produce charitable and educational programming for the advancement of the industrial design profession.


Our Focus

The 501(c)(3) organization is focused on generating awareness of industrial design to the broader public. It is intended to engage IDSA members, non-members, and partners, and to connect design to timely issues and initiatives. The Design Foundation aims to increase access to industrial design education and opportunities in the field, particularly for economically disadvantaged students (K-12 through college) and underrepresented groups. Through its focus on education as the starting point for a successful career in industrial design, the Design Foundation also positions IDSA, as a professional membership organization, to be responsive to the present and prepared for the future.

The Design Foundation endeavors to provide learning opportunities for students (regardless of age or institution) of industrial design. It exists to facilitate knowledge exchange and educate new sectors and people about industrial design. The Design Foundation constantly strives to extend the arm of industrial design into new areas in order to provide more learning opportunities.

Our Values

The Design Foundation believes that engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds and providing more design education access points at earlier ages will strengthen and advance the industrial design profession. Facilitating opportunities that expand the composition of designers in the profession, increasing access to industrial design programming, and offering more learning opportunities in schools and through local community outreach are integral values upon which the Design Foundation is built.

The Design Foundation believes in being honest and fair in serving the public, our partners, peers, employees, and community members, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, creed, nationality, age, ability, or sexual orientation. Racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination and bigotry are antithetical to the Design Foundation’s values. In partnering with IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC), the Design Foundation will continually ensure these values are upheld and practiced.


How Can You Help?

Funding for The Design Foundation comes primarily from generous donations made by individuals, families, or businesses who share the same values as The Design Foundation and wish to advance the Foundation’s mission. Your donation will support the Foundation's ability to provide:

The Design Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. A donation can be made at any time. These donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Those interested in making a donation may do so by clicking the Make a Donation link or by mailing a check made payable to Design Foundation at the address below:

Attention: Design Foundation
950 Herndon Parkway, Suite 250
Herndon, VA 20170



The Differences Between IDSA and the Design Foundation

The Design Foundation is a separate legal entity from IDSA, a 501(c)(6) professional society; however, the two organizations work hand-in-hand and share commonalities with their work and purpose. While the work of the Design Foundation ends at the collegiate level, that's where IDSA’s work begins: supporting aspiring designers' transition into professional practice and beyond. Both organizations are advocates for the field of industrial design and maintain efforts aimed at raising awareness among the general public of industrial design as a necessary and respected career.