Paul Hatch, FIDSA
Dedicating over 25 years of service to the field, Paul Hatch, IDSA, has inspired and nurtured countless young designers on a global scale. He was inducted into the Society’s Academy of Fellows at the 2018 IDSA International Conference in New Orleans, LA, to the acclaim of his fellow designers, including colleague and nominator Marianne Grisdale, FIDSA. “Paul embodies the spirit of the type of designer that I believe most IDSA members hope to see honored,” Grisdale shares. “He is the genuine article.”
Born in Lichfield, United Kingdom, Hatch was a member of Germany’s Verband Deutscher Industrie Designer e.V., or VDID, a professional organization founded for the purpose of mediating between industry and designers. He earned his bachelor's degree in industrial design from Northumbria University, largely considered one of the top ten ID courses in the world. In 1993, he became the Senior Industrial Designer of TEAMS Design GmbH in Esslingen, Germany, a decision that would have major implications for Hatch’s extensive career.
TEAMS Design expanded to the United States in 1998, opening its doors in Chicago under Hatch’s leadership and subsequently promoting him as president of the branch. Specializing in global product-oriented brand development and communication, TEAMS Design now boasts five studios worldwide. The company’s success is due in no small part to Hatch, who was elected to serve as CEO of TEAMS USA in 2015. JohnPaul Kusz, FIDSA, shares: “Through Hatch’s support and generosity, TEAMS quickly became identified as a reliable resource, not only as a venue for many IDSA chapter events, but as a pool of willing and engaged designers who continue to be encouraged by him to…give back to the design community.”
Hatch is also nationally recognized for his substantial contributions to the non-profit organization DesignHouse, which he co-founded together with Pam Daniels and Susan Page Estes. A steadily growing enterprise (reaching five cities in the first two years), DesignHouse celebrates collaboration between designers and local manufacturers, and seeks to revitalize local businesses with creative ideas and initiatives. As a member of the board of directors, Hatch, along with fellow board member Tim Fletcher, FIDSA, continues to monitor the rising popularity of the organization. “Paul’s respect and care for the ID profession,” says Fletcher, “has been a light to all who have encountered him. His enthusiasm for helping professionals, educators, and students alike is a testament to his passion for our profession.”
Hatch’s involvement in IDSA is extensive. A prolific public speaker, he chaired IDSA’s 2013 International Conference in Chicago: Breaking The Rules, as well as the regional Midwest District Design Conferences from 2004-2006. As a fellow member of Chicago’s thriving design community, Mark Dziersk, FIDSA, has had the pleasure of witnessing Hatch’s contributions firsthand. “As a leader, Paul is always inventive and inclusive, [and] I have found my interactions with him always result in a positive and satisfying experience. As a reflection of IDSA, I believe Paul to be…a perfect example of when the very best intentions meet the ability to put them into action.”
Hatch’s colleagues are universal in their acknowledgement of his volunteering efforts. His free time is often dedicated to talking with students about ID as a career, and he has a history of volunteering the TEAMS Design space to student groups. “From the very start of his career,” shares Marianne Grisdale, “Paul has passionately… striven to foster, mentor, and be part of the design community in an integral way.” Jeevak Badve, Vice President and Director of Strategic Growth, adds that he is often inspired by Hatch’s efforts, and hopes that the rest of the design community will continue to take notice: “We…need more people who have attributes like Paul to further the fundamental cause of why we became designers in the first place. We need people with an altruistic goal to create a more meaningful awareness of our beloved profession, and I see Paul as a hands-on steward of that job.”
Hatch will add this year’s award to an already impressive collection, including Design of the Decade and IDSA's Extreme Volunteerism Award. In 2009, he became the third design professional in history to be awarded the prestigious Midwest Honors for Outstanding Achievement.