Shujan Bertrand

Shujan Bertrand, IDSA
Founder | Aplat Inc.


Based in San Francisco, Shujan Bertrand is an advocate for sustainable local manufacturing, supporting local organic farms, and food producers, and donates 1% of profits to environmental and non-profit organizations. Shujan uses the art of origami principles for zero waste design and manufacturing. Through Aplat, she hopes to grow awareness for responsible design, creating new partnerships with sustainable companies and organizations who care about people and the planet. 

Shu has worked internationally in Paris, Milan, and Seoul. She is an industrial designer with over 20 years of product design experience in soft goods design, advanced product development, design research, and strategy. She has impacted brands around the globe, translating user-centered insights into new product and business opportunities. She has led design teams and projects for studios like Astro Studios and IDEO, and for brands such as Incase, Steelcase, Nike, Samsung, LG Electronics, and Procter & Gamble. She has served on the design jury teams for IDEA and the Canne Lion Innovation Awards in France. 


Statement of Candidacy

I’m honored to have this opportunity to submit my candidacy for At-Large Director, Awards. Below are my experiences and thoughts on how I would like to inspire and contribute to the IDSA awards process and design community at large.

My accomplishments and jury award experience:

  • Full scholarship at Art Center College of Design, 1996-1999.
  • IDSA Student Merit Award winner, 1999, Art Center.
  • IDEA Awards Jury Member, 2013-14 and 2019-20.
  • Canne Lion Awards Jury Member, 2017.
  • Instructor for industrial design and design communication at CCA and mentor to dozens of students.
  • Design Patents: U.S. PATENT NO. D660997S1, D768380, 62/894,957, 29739249
  • I’ve worked in the industrial design community for 20+ years for design firms like Astro Studios and IDEO, and led diverse teams in large organizations like LG, Steelcase and incase. I’ve worked in the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • I’ve been able to grow my own business through alliances and partnerships with adjacent brands, by growing design awareness and sustainable practices of zero waste design and manufacturing.

Trusting the Industrial Design community to collaborate in making an impact:

  • I’d like to grow the International Design Excellence Awards IIDEA) audience through connections with high-profile brand, publishing and social media partnerships.
  • Creating a strategy that bridges the network of IDSA members, Jury members, and long-standing and new sponsors to participate in pulling in and supporting the product awards submissions.
  • The goal is to increase and broaden the award submissions from products that we know are in the marketplace, but by companies who are not submitting.
  • Focusing IDSA/IDEA to be THE leaders in awarding sustainable and ethical design innovation.
  • Clarifying categories and topics in multiple oversized categories like home and consumer products. 

How we get there together:

  • With a proactive network of jury members committed to working together, and wo are invested, excited and feel ownership of the award/jury process.
  • I’d like to collaborate with and feature “spotlight” interviews with past IDEA jury members and awardees, to develop testimonials from reputable sources in the corporate design community.
  • I believe we need real change in equity and equality across color, gender, and generation.
  • Diversity is key to the future of designing for people, product and planet.
  • I hope to bring impact through my diverse work experience and cultural background.
  • Initiate a co-creative and proactive award-jury members process.
  • Design an exciting experience and event that celebrates and honors the IDEA Jury, award finalists and winners.

Thank you.