Women+Design Summit | Schedule



5:00 – 6:00

Welcome Wine & Cheese sponsored by PepsiCo. | Renaissance San Diego Rooftop Lounge, 421 West B Street, San Diego CA 92101



8:00 – 8:45

Morning Coffee

8:45 – 9:00

Welcome Remarks | Megan Neese, IDSA, Chair, IDSA Board of Directors

9:00 – 9:30

My Stories on Design Passion
At an early age Maaike caught the bug of discovery by making things.

Maaike met Mike Simonian 22 years ago and from that moment on has worked alongside him in consultancies, corporations and in their garage. 

When Mike and Maaike decided to start their own consultancy they wanted to do things differently. Rather than continuing to focus on technology clients, typical for the Silicon Valley, Simonian and Evers reinvented themselves, focusing on independent projects in a wide range of areas including furniture, soft goods, sculpture and jewelry.  

These independent projects led to unique partnerships and a diverse body of work.

Maaike will share stories of how her Design Passion and Design Energy have guided her in her journey. 

Keynote Speaker | Maaike Evers, Mike & Maaike

9:30 – 10:00

Industrial Designer to Entrepreneur
A woman starting a sex toy company is rare. Even if you take out the "sex toy" part, this is still true. Ti Chang, IDSA, will share how she designed and hustled to build her company Crave. This is behind-the-scene stuff; rarely shared.

Speaker: Ti Chang, IDSA, CRAVE

10:00 – 11:15

Workshop | Gender Equity Toolkit: Development & Application of Tools for Positive Change & Personal Agency
This workshop will run through the development and use of the Gender Equity Toolkit; share insights and experiences from developing design interventions that address cognitive biases; and unpack ways in which design can be used for creative change in education and practice.

Speaker: Emma Segal, Disrupt Design

11:15  – 11:30 Break

11:30am – 12:00pm

Untold Stories of Women in Design
When people think about the legends of design at Herman Miller, they think of Nelson, Noguchi, Rohde, Girard, Stumpf, Chadwick. Even when people think of the Ray and Charles Eames, Ray sometimes gets sidelined. In her talk, Small will share untold stories of the women behind some of the most iconic designs of our time.

Speaker: Andrea Small, Herman Miller

12:15 – 1:15


1:15 – 1:45

Women Are Not Robots: A Case for a Human Approach to Innovation
Erica Eden, director of global design innovation at PespsiCo, reports that a design audit of the consumer packaged goods category reveals what works (and what doesn’t) for women—from brand and packaging to food design and nutrition, and more.

Essentially, we treat women like robots—one-dimensional stereotypes that respond to quantitative and highly rational needs—a series of 0s and 1s. We’ve forgotten that women, unlike robots, make emotional decisions with their hearts and eyes, with rational benefits working hard in the background. Despite demand, human and holistic solutions for women are in short supply. Design can help! Looking outward, we see a series of oversights and opportunities.

Keynote Speaker | Erica Eden, PepsiCo

1:45 – 2:15

From the #First2 Rows, to Binders of Women
Where my ladies at? No, seriously… Women make up half of the design student population in higher education. In some cases, more than half. Yet women only make up 25 percent of the practicing design industry and college-level design faculty. Through stories from her 13 years in college classroom, Assistant Professor Raja Schaar will outline ways in which women in industry can help address the lack of diversity in design program faculty and keep women in the game. #First2Rows refers to the count of women Schaar takes whenever she attends a campus innovation or industry events. Typically, the first wo rows are designated for the big players who are almost always older white men. She wants to change that. Binders of Women refers to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign flub where he revealed he relied on binders of women’s resumes to diversify his gubernatorial cabinet.

Speaker: Raja Schaar, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University

2:15 – 3:15

Workshop | Communicating the Value of Collaborative Leadership
Collaborative leadership may be more effective than directive, analytical styles—but it’s the strong-willed, “alpha-male“ leaders who are more often promoted. Unconscious bias toward traditional modes of leadership prevents many women’s worth from being recognized and rewarded. In this workshop, participants in small groups will use a generative research method developed for courses taught by Katherine Bennett, IDSA, at ArtCenter College of Design. They will gain a better understanding of how to communicate the value of collaboration and emotional intelligence within organizations.

Speaker: Katherine Bennett, IDSA

3:15 – 3:45

Coffee Break

3:45 – 4:45

Workshop | Inspiring Leadership
How often in our busy lives, do we take time for personal and small group reflection on how to be a better leader? In accountability groups that will live on after the conference, we’ll discuss challenges that today’s women leaders face as well as anecdotal examples of inspiring leadership. We can all recognize great leadership, but how do we get there? Individually, each participant will focus on a personal challenge that they need to improve and then work through a plan of action with a partner. Prepare to be challenged and to help encourage others to be better leaders.

Moderator: Rebecca Alvord, IDSA, GE Appliances

​4:45 – 5:15

Driving Design: Women in Automotive Design
Diane Allen will discuss her experiences as an auto designer. She has managed several exterior design projects including the Z series of sports cars as well as full-size trucks for Nissan Design America. Allen says that "although women are still rare within the industry, our growing impact on product is powerful."

Speaker: Diane Allen, Nissan

5:15 – 5:30

Closing Remarks | Megan Neese, IDSA, Chair, IDSA Board of Directors