IDSA Survey for Masters paper

Any chance the entire paper is available online? I’d be interested in taking a look.

i love how Craig gets so much props for his book(s) even though he’s never designed a product that was either a breakthrough or a failure.

  1. Hitch - I don’t have plans yet to put the paper online. Because of my history in ID, I have certain internal knowledge of both IDSA and Core77 and would need to get their approval and maybe edits before I put it out there. I am not the National Enquirer and do not wish to put stuff out there for shock value.

  2. daaphearthrob - There are so many ways to deconstruct your argument:
    a) Vogel and Cagan have both used their systems with corporations to produce great products. They may not have done the drawing or CAD but their input was in valuable.
    b) Craig develops systems, not products, and in our profession this was well overdue. Having done both I would say that systems design is more difficult and actually more rewarding. One reason is because it doesn’t get thrown in the trash next year.
    c) Have you ever seen Craig’s portfolio? How do you know what products he has designed.

Yes I have seen Craig’s portfolio (he has an impressive collection of Coke bottles). He was a teacher of mine at Cincinnati.

I dont doubt Craig’s intelligence, he taught at Carnegie Mellon for Christ’s sake… I have not, I was just having a bit of fun with ya.

I agree that strategy is a valuable piece of R&D, in fact it is a rare case when the projects I’m working on actually involve me doing traditional ID (form based concept development). Most of my work is Research to Design Strategy resulting in realistic conceptualization based on newly discovered “product opportunity areas”. And more and more now alot of the work I do is transformational in nature, taking this strategy and process and making it understandably easy for companies to internallize and make their own.

I know this is an online forum so voice inflection isn’t detecable, but in case you didnt know before most of the shit I say on here is tongue in cheek… so dont get your panties in a bunch when I say something you dont like.


I like your conclusion.

Your ‘younger designer’ comment made me think that a set of ‘IDSA personas’ could be useful in attacking the problem.

I’d also like to see the overlaps of the various organizations. As a design manager, I have come to value the Design Management Institute and UK Design Council over IDSA. I also like that AIGA has embraced ‘Experience Design’ more than IDSA. (Note: I attended the John Thackara lecture at Art Center yesterday and it was the AIGA that was promoting it, with help from the Core77 clogger.)


The personas idea is a good one.

I did not match up to the other organizations precisely in my paper but did think about them. I do believe DMI and some other organizations are very specialized and that serves a very important purpose. I know some of the head people at DMI and respect what they do. My honest belief is that IDSA should remain more general and cover the issues for the whole profession, like the program I mentioned at The Design Registration League

I am also a great believer in IDSA collaborating with other organizations to produce win/win solutions for everyone. I did this as Chapter Chair, District VP and with my vote on the Board. Now I am building collaborations with Asian design organizations and IDSA to continue that belief. I think stucon of Core77 could verify my attempts to bring IDSA and Core77 closer together.

There are a lot of issues in our profession, especially now and hope that design organizations world wide can work together on these.

I just found this description of how the UK’s design council has changed over the years:

60 years of UK Design Council
In the beginning: public campaigning

The Design Council started life in 1944 as the Council of Industrial Design. It was founded by the president of the Board of Trade in the UK’s wartime government, and its objective was ‘to promote by all practicable means the improvement of design in the products of British industry’. And that was to stay unaltered through half a century of social, technological and economic change.

Initially, the Council of Industrial Design combined exhibitions with product endorsements, direct services to industry, commercial publishing and retail – a model widely imitated around the world.

New focus on business and education

The sixties and the seventies brought an increasing emphasis on technology and later engineering design to the organisation’s work, triggering a name change in the early 1970s to Design Council.

By the 1980s Britain was increasingly design conscious, with high street spending boosting design investment, consumers and retailers seemingly convinced about the merits of good design and industrial designers now part of a growing and increasingly visible design industry.

So in the late eighties, the Design Council switched from public campaigning to focusing on business and education.

Design Council retailing and product endorsement were closed and industrial services were regionalised.

However, by the early 1990s, the Design Council, which had more than 200 staff and an annual Department of Trade and Industry grant of £7.5 million, was seen to be out of touch. It was remote from the design community, viewed with indifference by much of industry and isolated politically. New Government plans, such as using Business Links to deliver industrial services including design, threatened its purpose.

A new purpose: developing knowledge and inspiring action

In 1993, the Government launched a major review of the Design Council’s work. The resulting report envisaged a small, lean, agile, collaborative think tank organisation with around 40 staff, which would develop and disseminate new knowledge and inspire action, devote more resources to activities and initiatives, and be driven by a new purpose: ‘to inspire the best use of design by the UK, in the world context, to improve prosperity and well being’.

The organisation focused its communications on business, education and government, introduced a forward-looking, team-working culture and set about forming partnerships with key opinion-leader organisations as a new means of inspiring audiences to use design.

Several new initiatives were launched, including the annual Design in Business Week and Design in Education Week, both national events, and the change of government in 1997 triggered Creative Britain, which focused on how Britain’s design strengths could help to improve the country’s global standing.

Later the same year, Prime Minister Tony Blair launched Millennium Products, which by 2000 would identify 1,012 outstanding examples of British design and innovation and communicate the stories behind them in publications, learning materials and web-based case studies.

The initiative also spawned international touring exhibitions which drew nearly 300,000 visitors around the world.

Enabling the use of design

Awareness of design among businesses increased in the late 90s, but it became clear that with awareness came uncertainty about how best to use design. This had led to a situation currently where the contribution made by the UK design sector has halved since 2000, with the number of larger agencies having fallen by one third.

The Design Council’s responded by changing its purpose to include ‘enabling’, as well as inspiring the use of design.

As well as providing online knowledge and other design resources, the Design Council embarked in 2002 on a series of projects - like Designing Demand - that see designers and other experts working directly with selected businesses, schools and public services organisations to integrate design thinking and methods into their strategies and systems, with the goal of strengthening and supporting the UK economy.

The Design Council helps influence design policy (remember the highly regarded Cox Review of Creativity in Business) and initiates new thinking on ways to design public services around the needs of people who use them.

The council is also pioneering new thinking about design-led solutions to social as well as economic problems, as exemplified by a programme called Designs of the time (Dott), which gets people involved in exploring how design can improve their lives.

The first of a series of biennial design promotions, Dott07 takes core themes such as school, community, health and the environment, and works with people to frame specific challenges as design opportunities. These will be the basis for projects that draw on the full range of design disciplines, including architecture, product, graphic, industrial and service design. >