Previous Conferences

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.

2014 Midwest Conference

The topic of the 2014 Midwest District Design Conference was Industrial Evolution. What comes to mind when you hear the names Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes? These designers defined the look of modern America, and, in doing so, revolutionized the way we live and work. How has design set the stage for where we are today and what kind of change can we make going forward? What kind of tools will affect design in the future and what is making an impact today? Our inspiring speakers and informative workshops helped us answer these questions. Our speakers, designers and professionals from the design community, shared triumphs and obstacles as well as thier thoughts on what challenges we may face moving forward.

2014 Western Conference

At the 2014 Western District Design Conference, Running With the Bulls: Smarts, Bravado and Risk-Taking in the Global Outdoor Industry we asked attendees to imagine experiencing the adrenaline rush of a lifetime as the starting rocket launches and you’re pursued by 1,500 pound bulls stampeding directly behind you. What you need are cool nerves, quick reflexes and a clear understanding of the enormity of the task at hand. It’s a demanding, fast-paced enterprise and it’s not for the faint of heart. However, the rewards of success can be great indeed. At the Western District Design Conference, we examined the current design culture and dove into issues that designers face both domestically and internationally when they strive for perfection while simultaneously being told to fail hard, often and fast.