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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby Timf » March 15th, 2010, 9:25 pm

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I have waited a while to enter this fray, plus I was enjoying myself in Belize for 8 days and wasn't ready to get into it.

First, I will lay out my current"jobs that aren't my real jobs":
1) moderator for Design in Asia forum for Core77
2) member of DMI
3) commenter in certain groups of Linked In, especially Design Thinking
4) so many different positions in IDSA, that I don't feel like typing them all here.

I do the above things for different things for different reasons. Core77 gives me immediate feedback as to what is going on in some areas of the profession. I volunteer to do some things for it but it also gives me a lot of content (usually not deep but broad)

DMI, I currently only take from, except for the money I give to be a member. It gives me deep knowledge in a certain area.

Linked In gives me a chance to both hear and speak about topics and get feedback from people both inside and outside the profession. This has been invaluable.

IDSA has allowed me to develop as a person, both professionally and personally. I have gotten tremendous benefit from the networking and the conferences. IDSA contacts have also helped me to find jobs and I have helped others find jobs. I also work to make connections between people who could benefit from the connection. But that is a tiny part of what I have gotten. By volunteering to elected positions I have learned valuable management skills, especially when it comes to convincing people who are not being paid to do something. after being on the Board I learned that IDSA is open to the thoughts and directions of the members and that we can choose the directions that IDSA goes into by doing it. I created the International Liaison Officer positions and became the first one for Asia. I have built a dialogue between Asia and the US. I am now writing an new position description that will allow me to build relations between IDSA and the US Government. Where else can you write your own job description and make differences in the profession. IDSA gives only a little if you only give a little. It gives a lot if you give a lot.

I guess the long and short of what I am saying is you have to look for balance in what you want in life. Choose your destiny and find the outlets that allow you to meet it. Don't expect all avenues to give you the same thing in life. That would be boring.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby yo » March 17th, 2010, 8:51 pm

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Thanks for killing the thread Tim! ;-) Just kidding.

See, I never got any of those things from IDSA. I just don't see how they engage professionals under 35. There it is, the age thing. I only have one more year to be under 35, so maybe next year it will all be clear to me...

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby no_spec » March 18th, 2010, 4:35 pm


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YO, I think they do have the attention of in-school students, (particularly when accredidation is under review) they just can't retain them as members while they're just starting out as professionals. keeping that 1 percent of "content generators" as active members untill the 35 year olds come back into the fold...

and I think there's an ingrained designers desire to see a fully integrated solution. one fully flexible all encompasing recource for everything. Tim's right to imply we need to let that go.

I think it's really that mid-career designer that IDSA needs to go after next. this is where skills are a given, and some of that content/guidance of how to get to the next level is missing. (of course, this is where the real valuable $tuff is too).

senior designers/directors don't need alot of support from within Design, this is where DMI and business school comes in.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby yo » March 20th, 2010, 10:27 am

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no_spec wrote:YO, I think they do have the attention of in-school students.


I agree, which is why I quickly changed my post to say "professionals" under 35. Maybe I'm just not a joiner, because I was frankly leery of it as a student. The kids that seemed hyper active in the chapter seemed more concerned with political maneuvers and getting an A on every project rather that mastering the skill set and pushing boundaries. this may be just my isolated experience to be fair.

So, an innocent, fact finding question. Not leading here at all.

How many members are in IDSA?

How many of those are industrial designers by their own definition?

How many industrial designers are there in the United States?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby warrenginn » March 22nd, 2010, 10:27 am

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yo wrote:So, an innocent, fact finding question. Not leading here at all.

How many members are in IDSA?


(I just got these numbers from Clive Roux, IDSA's Executive Director):

IDSA has just over 2400 members, but I should preface that with all Associations memberships are down and tend to do so in times of recession. Similarly, we believe AIGA's numbers are also down, but we're not exactly sure.

yo wrote:How many of those are industrial designers by their own definition?


From our most recent membership survey at the end of last year, 70% are Industrial or Product Designers. 30% are related professions such as Design managers, interface designers, design researchers, ethnographers, model makers... almost all are designers except for a small percentage who are affiliate members.

yo wrote:How many industrial designers are there in the United States?


As for designers in the USA, this is a tough one. No one has a definitive answer on that. Estimates range from 15-50,000, but Clive tends to think it is narrowly around 15,000 and broadly defined around 30-35,000.

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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby yo » March 22nd, 2010, 4:55 pm

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Thanks Warren. I was just curious (I like fun math).

So that means there are about 1700 (I rounded up) Industrial designers, putting it at about 5-11% of total. 5% being if the total number of industrial designers in the United States is closer to 35,000 and 11% being if the number is closer to 15,000. I excluded the 50,000 number because I too feel that is high. I'm guessing it is closer tot he 35k zone though.

I know AIGA has a lot more members, but it might not have a much higher percentage as there tend to be many more graphic designers by definition. Just think of how many local GD spots their are at every little local newspaper and such. I'm not sure if there is a way to figure that out.

My point being that I think 5-10% is a pretty good proportion considering the cynical bunch of non-joiners designers tend to be! I say that with love and affection as one.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby warrenginn » March 22nd, 2010, 7:56 pm

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yo wrote:My point being that I think 5-10% is a pretty good proportion considering the cynical bunch of non-joiners designers tend to be! I say that with love and affection as one.


One place that I feel like we're really missing is with the young grads... There's this assumption that until you become a seasoned professional, you don't have anything to contribute and that really isn't the case. We need their ideas, enthusiasm and their energy... I think it's a shame that such a small percentage actually join after graduating, even considering the reduced membership dues...

Coroflot is great, but your competing against hundreds, or thousands of portfolios... but it's the candidate's personality that makes someone "fit" into an office's culture. To get that connection, you still need face time and what better way to do that then to help to organize and event for IDSA?

I was talking to a student the other day about what she was going to during the summer for a job. I asked her if she had contacted any of the IDSA members she met while organizing a portfolio review and she was like, "I didn't think I was ALLOWED to do that!" And she was amazed when I told her that we were EXPECTING her to do that--that's what it's all about... There are opportunities for those who are willing to look for them.

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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby Timf » March 22nd, 2010, 8:18 pm

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How do you all (specifically people not steeped in IDSA), think it could be made better understood that this is not a closed society but a one waiting for connections? No BS here, I am really curious for peoples input.

It really is a fruit ripe for the picking but it is obvious that most people don't get that per Yo and Warren's comments above.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby warrenginn » March 22nd, 2010, 8:32 pm

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Timf wrote:How do you all (specifically people not steeped in IDSA), think it could be made better understood that this is not a closed society but a one waiting for connections? No BS here, I am really curious for peoples input.

It really is a fruit ripe for the picking but it is obvious that most people don't get that per Yo and Warren's comments above.


I'm thinking that could be a new thread... Michael, when are you back from Aruba so we can get the IDSA discussion board started?
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby yo » March 23rd, 2010, 9:00 am

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done.... from the beach even!

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby warrenginn » March 23rd, 2010, 10:06 pm

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Nice! Thanks!

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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby no_spec » March 24th, 2010, 4:52 pm


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another thread asks the question about Core cancelling the Creative Seed blog.
here we have an example of quality content targeting the young designer not succeeding, perhaps a lesson for IDSA?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby yo » March 24th, 2010, 5:06 pm

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It is interesting. I always thought CS had great content, but functionally, I just don't think people go to coroflot to read a blog, they go there to post and look at work.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby warrenginn » March 24th, 2010, 5:09 pm

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no_spec wrote:another thread asks the question about Core canceling the Creative Seed blog.
here we have an example of quality content targeting the young designer not succeeding, perhaps a lesson for IDSA?


I'm not familiar with that one... What was it?

I still maintain that a great deal of this has to do with what we are teaching our design students and how they transition into professional practice. I wish there were more professionals who would take the time to reach out to students before they graduate to help them with this transition and share some of their insights about where to begin and how to plug into the community.

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GinnDesign, LLC
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Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
http://design.ncsu.edu/people/warren-ginn-fidsa

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

Postby no_spec » March 25th, 2010, 9:14 am


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sure, but how do you convince a busy professional to commit more time/effort to better the profession/community?
This has always been the achillies heel for IDSA.
I'd like to see accreditation require co-op/Internships for graduation. Getting some work in exchange for professional guidance in the feild is the best way to re-connect.

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