What IDSA membership really means to us?

I am perfectly calm. Just because I might be saying what people don’t want to hear doesn’t mean I am pissed off. I am stating my opinion without pulling punches.

This is a drum that gets thumped at least once a year. And each year its the same song. “IDSA sucks. I don’t get anything out of it”. And every year it comes with zero constructive input. It is way too easy to bitch about something. I am calling everyone here who is complaining…provide what you want to see IDSA do with your money.

IDSA, or any organization for that matter, is about the collective, not the individual…which I totally recognize isn’t for everyone. To say that IDSA is worthless, is absurd. IDSA has made huge inroads to getting ID put on the map. Partnerships with BusinessWeek Mag, IDEAs, Lobbying for tax breaks, etc. All stuff that doesn’t help YOU instantly, but when you are the Design Director and you have the contacts, and the road is already paved…you get the point.

We’re back to the idea of wanting something for nothing.

Publicity I want to see IDSA ads in business/trade journals,airline magazines for all those business travellers and trade shows to educate how industrial designer can add value to their business AND create the preception that our service should demand top dollars. - A branding campaign to convince why we can charge as much as a lawyer or a surgeon. Business Week is a good start, but apparently the effort stopped there. I want IDSA to brainwash clients into believe that if IDer isnt involved in the development process their project is doomed for failure.

As an independent designer I really dont care about networking with other designers. I want IDSA networking events to rub shoulder with prospects that would give me projects = money.

The secret hand shake is cool, so is the decoder ring. :laughing:

That’s already being done. BusinessWeek, FastCompany, Wired all have very Design-centric coverage. That stuff doesn’t just happen by magic.

Seriously…how much an hour should Designers charge?

They’re one in the same. Case in point…from everything I have heard guys like Yves Behar got some of his higher profile projects at IDSA-type events…the Swavorski Chandalier comes to mind.

Networking is not about tomorrow’s paycheque. Its about next year’s paycheque and beyond.

Since this is an issue of every year, that means it is really an issue. That we need to some genuis to fix it.

So for the website, how about collabrating with Core77 or try to learn from them how they run the website that can make money and also connect design together. So if the website can make money on its own, that it might help out IDSA for other benifits?

Will this dead horse ever get up?

We disagree here. I beileve it is worth the value if you don’t take the view that you plunk in your quarter and out pops a gumball. It is more of an investment. It takes time and the results aren’t instantaneous.

Just because people complain doesn’t mean it is an issue. You still haven’t really provided any concrete examples of what needs to be done. A website needs to be tweaked…woohoo…From everything I understand there is collaboration with Core77. As for their website…I am pretty sure IDSA has taken the approach of leveraging collaboration with Core77 and other already well established groups. Why invest our money into an arena attempting to reinvent the wheel as opposed to collaboration?

I am being a dink about this because you owe it to everyone to pipe up and provide some real, solid, hardcore reasons why IDSA isn’t worth the investment. Or, more to your point…what they should do with your money that would make you feel better about your investment.

I know. Its irritating as hell. Every year. Complaining for the sake of complaining.

Can you share some examples of how you personally and the profession as a whole benefited from IDSA?

Absolutely…but it will have to wait as I am heading out the door to go skiing :wink:

Ski trip is this an IDSA benefit? Sign me up. Enjoy.

We’re back to the idea of wanting something for nothing.

Simple fact is, I am getting much more from Core77’s free service than a service I’d be paying for. Core is a bountiful service from my experience; contacts, community, job postings, client offers, news and updates, information, the list goes on, as well as you know. I know I would pay for a yearly Core subscription, without a doubt. That’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about. I can see a direct benefit from joining up with a site like C77, but I don’t see or hear why IDSA would be better/equal. Though, I’m not writing IDSA off, I’m ultimately curious, but nothing floats to the top. I’m always asking other designers what they see from joining, what their experience was, did they feel it was worth their X dollars. The majority thinks otherwise.

Things are meant to be questioned. Questioning brings constructive input. Right now, I don’t have any suggestions, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone who has much more experience with this couldn’t improve upon the current system.

Though, there is one point you brought up, the impact IDSA is making on the design and non-design world by being ‘the name’ in Industrial Design, ideally improving our career value as a whole. I salute their efforts in this respect. If the only benefit for joining is to support the ID spectrum, I can see the point. Perhaps IDSA simply and directly benefits some but not all.

I am interested to hear what benefits joining up would have when you get back, or if anyone else has some input. Enjoy the ski trip.

I’m going to start putting “Core77” member instead of IDSA on my cards.

This topic is getting quite old. Everyone tends to forget that Core77 only represents a small portion of our community. I agree with IP that no one seems to want to say what they want. I would like to ask if any of you have taken advantage of what IDSA does actually offer.

Have you been to the conferences? Have you listen to the podcasts? (especially the on with Frank Tyneski the new IDSA President talking about what changes he plans to make) Did any of you win the merit awards? Have any pf you won IDEA awards? Have any of you used the portfolio reviews to get a job?

I could go on and on about what it offers us and our career. I do feel that we pay a bit too much for dues, conferences, and so on, but majority of us are probably getting this paid for by our employer. I also think it is a tax write off if you are paying for it yourself.

The bottom line is it may be expensive, but when you are in an occupation that relies a lot on contacts and networking we need an organization to keep us together and bring us together every year. I also think that if you decide you are going to get your money out of it you will.

if you graduated from a NASAD accredited program or one that emulates it - thank IDSA.
They set, and raise the standard for design education - for decades.

big. and only 1 thing they do that you/we all directly benifit from daily.

Core77 is terrific and fills a void in IDSA but it’s tiny in comparison to the full spectrum of needs that the profession has. not that IDSA even comes close, but the $300 is peanuts.

Core77 has 6000 registered users, and I’d imagine at least 10-20% more lurkers who aren’t registered.
IDSA has “over 3,300 members” (from their website).
C77 represents the larger piece of the cake. Of course these numbers aren’t concrete, but even with error, there is still a huge difference.

I’ve been to the conferences fresh out of college, talking with prospective employers, portfolio reviews, lectures, and more. It was worthwhile at the time. But it’s all available here. Or at least everything I need. Personally, where I’m at now, I don’t need to be a member. Down the road, I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if I joined and was an active member.

The best thing I’ve heard in the pro category of IDSA so far is what PackageID just said.

The bottom line is it may be expensive, but when you are in an occupation that relies a lot on contacts and networking we need an organization to keep us together and bring us together every year.

Here is my two cents.

As a recent graduate I joined IDSA (for cheap!, thanks for that IDSA :smiley: ) to try and help me get a job and to hopefully make connections and possibly continue my education. Well, this is what actually happened. The website was down for months after joining and I couldn’t access the member only info. Bummer. When I did finally get to the members only area hoping to find something in the employment area, it was amazingly small. sigh My local chapter just recently went from monthly meetings to bimonthly meetings where only a half-dozen individuals show up, including the officers. double sigh I wanted to send in an entry to the IDEA awards, because honestly, I felt maybe my work would get noticed and I could actually get a job in the design field. But after seeing the entry price and potential additional fees for being chosen as a finalist (wtf), I decided to buy a better tablet instead. I hadn’t realized how much cash the IDSA rolls in on membership and contests each year—> 1.3M :open_mouth: !

Most of this post is me whining because of personal issues and I own up to that, but what am I really getting in exchange for my cash? I suppose I could pester every person on the IDSA memberlist with my resume and portfolio until I get a job somewhere, but how is that different than just hitting up the firms/companies I want to work for? Is the price of membership in most places just equal to some magazines and an industrial designer phonebook?

Now that I have whined, I do have some positive things to say. I am proud to put IDSA after my name on a business card. I feel it shows that I worked damn hard to get where I am and that I am serious about what I do and that I will continue to work that hard for anyone who employs me. For the time being, I will continue to support the IDSA and try to help my local chapter as much as I can.

With that, I do have some actual suggestions.

  1. Publish educational books (sketching, rendering, ideation, etc.) for students and professionals to showcase their skills and to provide education for designers.

  2. Try to help designers find work, period. If there is work for designers, they are more likely and willing to support their professional organizations, especially if they feel supported.

  3. Make member accessible content worth having access to. If I could see/listen to lectures and tutorials, I would gladly pay. After all, we have our own conferences on a regular basis, right? Record them and post them so those who could not attend can benefit from their memberships as well.

  4. Ask for feedback from members. We are creative problem solvers after all.

    Okay, I’m done. Rip me to shreds if you care to.


I think that was very well stated. That is the kind of feedback that the IDSA needs. I agree with you on the lectures. Even if you do go to the conferaces it is still nice to be able to come back and look at the lecture in digital format.

To the point about the website content…I have never used it.

Here is what I want to see before I join. (I know, you have to join to get what you want.)

  1. Dramatic increase in effort to inform the media and the business word about ID. I see far to many engineers and graphic designers getting our jobs due to client ignorance. (insert joke here.)

  2. Cooperation between professional organizations to solidify the public definition of Industrial Design, Product Design, Design engineering, and so on.

  3. Health Care Group plan for freelancers!

  4. Lobby a bill to make the patent process faster and cheaper.

  5. Lobby to protect members and American designers in general from foreign knock offs. China, Ikea, etc…

  6. Finally, reanimation of Lowey and Dreyfuss for a pay per view cage match. The undercard would be Paris Hilton vs. Rashid. (spastic battle of the plastic!)

I think it helps if you live in a city that has a chapter, like Chicago. They have frequent events.

Another thing that helps is to go to the events that your chapter throws, as officers we understand that not everyone can make it to every event, but it helps make them feel psyched about planning things if they know people will come. Obviously the catch22 is that they have to start planning for you to start going.

I joined mainly because I was in a new city, and thought it would be cool to know some like minded people.