IDSA Portland

So, I’ve been working with the IDSA to try to reboot the local chapter here. I haven’t been a member for a long time myself, but with the new leadership and the changes they are trying to make, I’m giving it a shot. Portland is an interesting city because there historically hasn’t been a strong chapter here, but if I run the numbers there could be.

Just doing some back of the envelope calculations, these are the ID’ers in the area:

Nike: ~ 150-200
Adidas: ~ 80-100
Under Armour: ~ 40-60
Columbia: ~ 20
Keen: ~ 20
Daimler (Freight Liner): ~ 10
HP: ~ 10
Pensole: ~ 10
Intel: ~ 5
Evolve: ~ 5
Cinco: ~ 5
IDL: ~ 5
IDWorkshop: ~ 5
Studio Noyes: ~ 3
Kix: ~ 3
Foundry: 2
James Brand: 1
James Owen Design: 1
Other independents I know of: ~ 10

Some of these are guesses, but being conservative that is about 400 industrial designers not including students. Not every one of them is going to be a member, so let’s say the chapter gets 20%? That shroud be about 80 members.

Not sure how many Portland people are on here, but would love an insight you might have as to why the numbers don’t work out. Is it just a creative enough city that has so many other things going on that an ID organization is not needed? Is it because footwear design is under represented in the IDSA? Is it because the IDSA hasn’t proven its value compared to the cost of membership? All of the above? Maybe other reasons?

Ziba, Industry PDX and Evolve Collaborative too…

There’s an annual design week here too that possibly creates a sense of community and $5 a month to Design Museum Portland gets you some interesting talks and some local interaction, so yes, there’s a big question mark against value for money for what seems a narrow church like the IDSA.

I’d have to ask what the chapter goals might be. What would success look like?

I head through the grapevine that Ziba lost their last industrial designer. That is a bummer. Evolve Collaborative I included, I just listed it as Evolve. Industry I didn’t include because they are focusing on digital marketing, but I should, that would be another handful.

RE Goals of the chapter. I’m not sure what the IDSA’s goals for it would be, but mine would be to create a monthly space where industrial designers who ship products can get together to exchange ideas, information, mingle, make friends, and network in real life.

I’d like to keep the focus on IRL events. I don’t think anyone needs another email newsletter or anything like that. I’ve been running the IDSA Oregon IG account for a few weeks just to have an online space to post announcements and highlight local designers.