On April 13, 2019 Advanced Design and the IDSA Chicago Chapter took IIT Institute of Design's newly constructed design campus by storm with their student conference, Revision (RVSN). The conference’s intent was to expand boundaries, disrupt rooted traditions, foster new design cultures and processes. RVSN pulled a total attendance of over 100 design students, professionals, and educators from various schools in the midwest including such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Notre Dame, College for Creative Studies, University of Wisconsin - Stout, Purdue University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
While perched on the multi-colored cushions in a bright lecture hall, attendees listened to the diverse speaker line-up present a slice of what being a designer today meant-- and not only what it meant, but the grit that it takes to get there. The conference opened with Whirlpool CMF Designer, Rebecca Goesling, giving the audience a peek into her chaotic desktop and a poignant explanation of the method to her madness. She explained at length the value that designers bring to a cross-functional team and how good storytelling can contribute to the success of a product.
Rotimi Solola, IDSA, founder of his own design practice (SO Design), reminded designers to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses while navigating through their career. Solola spoke to the uphill battle of making it as a solo entrepreneur, and how to stay resilient. Arielle Pollock shared her stories of traveling abroad prior to starting her career and how it began to shape what she wanted out of her life as a designer. She emphasized how non-linear the life a designer can be-- and sometimes taking a step back to travel can be the answer.
Brittany Pierone energetically ran the audience through her work background at Nike as a footwear designer-- and how she left the company to start her own operation that is run on pure passion. She gave the room straightforward advice on how showing can be more powerful than telling, and that the key to getting what you want as a designer is having a clear focus of your goals. Last but not least, Connor P Sutton opened his sketching demonstration with a summary of his background into design -- from his early formative years, interest in engineering, to when he learned about industrial design late into high school. RSVN closed with recognition to the attending IDSA Midwest Student Merit Award Finalists and their supporting design faculty.
SMA Finalist presentations were given by:
- Lindsey Meyers - University of Notre Dame
- Tom Groom - University of Illinois at Chicago
- Samantha Bruening - Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
- Blake Shermer - University of Wisconsin-Stout
- Jack Judge - Purdue University
Words and image credits: Advanced Design