Meaningful and Equitable Solutions

INNOVATION Summer 2020

Vol. 41 No. 2, p. 4

When we began to compose the theme of this issue, we took a moment to reflect on how to create something that would be relevant to current times and showcase the actions of our community. In the weeks since that initial planning session, so much has changed.

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been one of the most surreal, devastating, and challenging years in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic has swept through almost every nation on earth, with several million cases of the novel coronavirus reported. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have died from the virus while countless lives have been painfully disrupted and irrevocably altered.

Amid this global health crisis, public attention in the U.S. turned to a series of racist attacks and horrific incidents of police brutality. The murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, captured on smartphone video and shared around the world, triggered a wave of protests and pushed a myriad of organizations, including our own, to confront issues of racial injustice, reexamine the ways in which the design industry could be helpful and harmful to our communities, and work to dismantle biased and unequal systems. We have a lot of work to do and are grateful for all we have learned. We will not stop showing up, or speaking up, for what is right. 

So how, given this context, could we begin to craft this issue of INNOVATION? The answer is simple. We turned once again to our community.

IDSA is proud of our community for volunteering their time, efforts, and resources to help others during this incredibly difficult time. Members have stepped up to make masks and face shields and to share templates, 3D printing tools, and best practices. We’ve seen you team up to hold virtual events to keep your communities connected and to discuss issues related to COVID-19 and racial justice. We are inspired by your strength, ingenuity, and empathy in the face of so much tragedy, uncertainty, and strife. As a Society, we are stronger together and better for using our unique skills and talents as industrial designers for the greater good.

Designing meaningful and equitable solutions to improve the lives of others and make the world a better place has never been more important. The challenges we’ve faced have made our mission as a Society clearer as we refocus on our core pillars of education, information, community, and advocacy for the highest purpose. We encourage all of you to take heart in your resilience and know that IDSA exists because of you and for you. In this and whatever else comes, we are here to support you.

In solidarity, 
INNOVATION Editorial Team

P.S. Fresh off the heels of our Sustainability Deep Dive virtual event, we’re excited to share revised details for the IDC 2020 as a 24-hour virtual livestream. While we know we cannot directly replace the experience of an in-person conference, we’ve devised a new plan that we think is really special. 

Urgent Design