Previous Conferences

2015 South Conference

Welcome to Home Cooking: Designing, Manufacturing and Sourcing in the USA,

The South has always been known as the place to get some great home cooked comfort food.  This year, the Southern District wants to take that idea of home cooking and deep-dive into how corporations and entrepreneurs are designing, manufacturing and sourcing their products right here in the good old USA. 

2015 West Conference

Welcome to TRIBE:CRAFT, where you will learn how to build a tribe + sharpen your craft!

Through exploration of design swarms, tribal brand-leading keynotes, panel discussions and maker-style workshops, consultants and corporate designers will walk away with tangible skills that will sharpen their craft.

2015 Central Conference

Welcome to the Nature of Design.

Design, like nature is constantly evolving. It has changed from producing stand-alone, artifact-based design solutions to creating a connected and automated design experience economy. How is the collective need of humanity changing? Shouldn’t we start to re-think our design methodologies? 

Nature is arguably the greatest inspiration for designers all over the globe. We still have a lot to learn from the flora & fauna and the immense ideas that nature plays out every single day. Many of the solutions that we see and experience have been in the making for thousands of years.

2015 Northeast Conference

Welcome to Design + ______

Many design conferences consist mainly of designers talking to designers about design. But that doesn’t really represent what we do—not in the real world.

Design is a critical component of almost every solution, but it is not the only part. Complex problems require expertise in engineering, business, strategy, environment, marketing and research. Designers may choose to tackle these problems themselves, or opt to work with specialists. The question is when should you be a jack-of-all-trades, and when should you collaborate?

2015 Midwest Conference


The landscape of design and innovation is changing. As designers become more prominent and influential in the world, we must begin to fundamentally think differently about the products, services and overall experiences we strive to create for people.

INTERSECTION will center on a common (but often underutilized framework) that depicts “design innovation” occurring at the intersection of business, technology and human values, hopefully sparking a dynamic conversation among attendees.

2014 Medical Design Conference

The Usability Ecosystem delivered advanced content for product development and usability specialists practicing in the healthcare space. The conference was balanced between two primary formats:

  • Discussions on why and what design can do to affect usability and,
  • In situ workshops on how usability design methods can be effective.

The Exchange, 2014 in Austin

The 2014 International Conference focused on six key exchanges; context, community, value, culture, interpersonal and eduction. At the core of what we do as designers is this notion of exchange. Through the innovative processes of design, something of value is given and something of value is received, advancing a current condition or experience to a new, expanded state. Designers know that the exchange between designers and developers, researchers and users, people and products, educators and students, ideas and actions, is the dynamic space in which we operate. 

2014 Northeast Conference

The 2014 Northeast District Design Conference featured a fantastic group of keynotes and other top-notch presenters who inspired us to Design It. Build. Fund It! For decades, New York has been the Financial Capital of the World. The last decade has seen tremendous growth–over 120%—in design with all major industrial design firms now having offices there, along with a design friendly mayor and the home of the US’s only National Design Museum. According to the study conducted by the Center for an Urban Future, New York has become THE CITY for DESIGN. The NDDC was another unforgettable event that kicked off New York Design Week 2014.

2014 Southern Conference

The 2014 Southern District Design Conference focused on DESIGN: MIND. BODY. SOUL. We featured a number of great speaker panels comprised of designers from across a variety of design disciplines. Speakers and topics focused on three primary areas: Mind, Body and Soul. Topics discussed included strategey, design thinking, service design and desigining for the greater good. Attendees also learned about the latest technical advancements in areas such as tooling and prototyping, sketching and materials. The event closed with our Student Merit Award presentations featuring the brightest talents from schools across our district and was followed by a wonderful outdoor closing party hosted by SCAD.


2014 Central Conference

We kicked off UNFOLDING DESIGN at the 2014 Central District Design Conference with a pre-conference Design Marathon. Attendees were able to visit the BIG 3 Furniture studios, Herman Miller, Haworth and Steelcase. Their design leadership shared insights in their innovation space, while attendees were seated on their furniture systems! As an added bonus, several companies included studio tours with an exclusive peek at some of the newest technology. Friday evening we offered continued explorations of the unique culture cropping up in metro cities—collaborative spaces for all the creative people to come together and build new solutions for the market. Attendees heard from a fantastic group of handpicked speakers and thought leaders, who enlightened and inspired as they shared their design stories from across multiple industries.