Conference Preference?

What has been your favorite Industrial Design conference? What skills did you take away?

I have to say I really enjoyed the core77 conference!

That made the shortlist! Is there information on the conference for 2017?

OK, you’re old enough for me to call you old. Did you learn anything?

I go to a lot of medical conferences and I learn a lot because I am not directly in their field. As an outsider, it is a great place to learn something new. I find it worth my time to attend such an event.

But having a couple years under my belt (a nice way of calling me old), I struggle to find a design/innovation conference where I actually learn something new. They are all geared for the fresh meat, which is fine, but I don’t get much out of it other than being amused. Sure, the case studies are interesting, but they rarely have a nugget I haven’t heard.

I’ve been to Mayo’s Transform twice over the last 7(?) years. I mean it’s the friggin Mayo Clinic. They are supposed to be the bleeding edge. And for the healthcare clinicians attending, I bet they learn a lot. Kind of a role reversal to me going to their conferences. But I won’t go back to Transform for at least another 5-7 years because only then will I be willing to give them another chance to disappoint me. It is really fundamental design stuff. Sure, they will use the latest buzz words, but that is just marketing spin.

Back to the OP. Sorry for the hijack. I would attend the conferences in the area where you design. I go to conferences for diagnostic equipment, radiology equipment, surgical equipment, wound care and infection control. If you design cars, go to a conference about infrastructure. If you design kitchen equipment, go to a chef’s conference. Find out where key opinion leaders talk, show posters and go there.

The second day workshops I didn’t learn anything new. The first day was more of a machine gun style series of TED talks, 30 mins back to back, which I prefer as I have a short attention span and if there is a break I’m likely to go wander off. One talk I really enjoyed was on distributed teams and made me think about our process and how we do business… but I mainly go to these things for the parties. And that part was really good :slight_smile:

There were a couple of times I had to resist my alpha ways that were telling me to go up on stage and tell the presenter that’s not how you do it… I’m sure it would been hilarious, but self destructive. When you have been a professional for close to 20 years and someone a few years out of school is presenting to a bunch of kids still in school your perspective can feel a bit odd.

There were a couple of times I had to resist my alpha ways that were telling me to go up on stage and tell the presenter that’s not how you do it… I’m sure it would been hilarious, but self destructive. When you have been a professional for close to 20 years and someone a few years out of school is presenting to a bunch of kids still in school your perspective can feel a bit odd.[/quote]

Been there, felt the same way. Over came my compulsion.

I’ve been to two regional IDSA conferences, an IDSA environmental design conference and one IDSA national conference.

The conferences themselves were all mixed bags. Learned some stuff, saw a lot of stuff I already knew, saw some stuff that just confused me.

The invaluable part was always the mingling. I know designers in Canada and our problems, but it was fun sitting next to someone from a world leading manufacturer or consultant and hearing about what they go through. It was also great getting to hob knob with people working their way up the management chain and gleaming some insights from that.

If I could take a 6 month sabatical to work full time on a conference, I think I’d try to find a way to merge the mingling and workshops. They tried this at the national I went to (breaking out into groups of 20 to discuss issues). However, I feel like there must be a way to take it one step further.

Also, I’d like to see more non-design material. I know people who sketch better than me, who do more research than me and who have designed more sheet metal enclosures than me. I have that network to support my design knowledge. What I don’t have is the insights into management, psychology, marketing. I think my ideal line up of speakers would be 30% design + 70% other.

I think the balance there is I’ve been to conferences with 70% other, and it was way other, as in un related. I agree with your ratio, but I think the other bucket should be things like you said" marketing strategy, leadership, getting alignment to design language systems, writing proposals and estimating time and cost, invoicing and getting people to pay…

I was imagine if I was selecting the “other”. True, it could go very bad if it is too off topic!

I went to an IDSA national once were the keynote was a war photojournalist. He started is talk with “I’ve never heard of Industrial Design and I have no idea what it is or why you would ask me to be here… but here is my work…” … yah, too far.

Will there be a Core77 2017 Industrial Design Conference?

If so, where can we find out more information?


I did probably 6-7 years of national IDSA conferences, and in general I never felt like there was much that I was “learning”. There might have been good things to be “exposed” to, new software, materials, but less so on techniques that I felt were going to dramatically change my career. With that said, I was at a very mature corporate design practice, so if I was working at a small firm or as a freelancer, that stuff would have been fascinating to me.

What I felt was more valuable was that I usually came back having socialized with new people, feeling refreshed and more inspired about the work I did. I think my favorite keynote/speech was Story Musgrave, who’s life as an Astronaut was easily the most engaging content I remember from any conference I had ever been to. It was outside the realm of ID, but the themes of problem solving and unlimited potential of one persons life was really inspirational as a person.

With that said, usually by the 2nd or third day I’d be done wanting to sit in a conference room and would end up walking around whatever city the conference was in or sitting in the pool. So perhaps there was some super inspirational mini-sessions that I missed out on, but usually by then a lot of the smaller talks are people promoting their consultancy/product/service.

Yes, I think it is going to be in Chicago next.

Has it been announced? I don’t see it anywhere on the site. I’d love for it to be here in Chicago.

Looks like it hasn’t been announced yet.

Does anyone know about when it was announced last year?

I just shot a note to a couple of the founders asking for some details.

Hi - we’ve actually had to postpone the 2017 Core77 conference until 2018. We were/are planning to do the event in Chicago, and had a good space and the beginnings of a good team and plan in place. Unfortunately other priorities have come up and we’re not able to execute a full event like this during this year. Perhaps we can do something smaller, but that remains to be seen.

So stay tuned - you’ll know as soon as we’re ready to make a more proper announcement.

Thank you guys! Look forward to it coming out again!

I just got back from Struktur. Geared toward designers in the outdoor industry, but it was an excellent conference and it lined up with Design Week Portland which was a bonus.