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Re: 2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 8th, 2010, 11:27 am

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TaylorWelden wrote:
PackageID wrote:
CAR wrote:What do you want from an organization that represents Industrial Design? What are your needs?
Really!?!?!?! I don't know if you affiliated with IDSA, and assuming you are not, but I took the time to type up that post and we have all been giving feedback and this is the response we get?
I am assuming they are affiliated. First post, new account. All signs point to yes.
I am trying to give them the benefit of a doubt.
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Re: 2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 8th, 2010, 1:09 pm

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slippyfish
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PackageID wrote:
CAR wrote:What do you want from an organization that represents Industrial Design? What are your needs?
Really!?!?!?! I don't know if you affiliated with IDSA, and assuming you are not, but I took the time to type up that post and we have all been giving feedback and this is the response we get?
Maybe do what designers are supposed to do: embed yourself within an organization; use insight, observation, and creativity to learn about what designers needs are, vs what you think they are, or what people say they are; brainstorm, prototype, iterate and re-iterate. Treat IDSA like a service; hook up with the Service Design group on LinkedIn, or create a Service Design forum on Core77.

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Re: 2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 9th, 2010, 12:07 am

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As an IDSA board member, I can clarify a few things. The board is made up of 5 district VPs who hold their position only 2 years, and their main responsibility is organizing the district conference, 2 board members at large (2 yrs), education VP (2yrs), section chair - in charge of special interest sections (2yrs), chapter chair (in charge of chapters heads - 2 yrs), treasurer, and the president elect, president and president emeritus (all 2 years each, but if you think about it, at this time, anyone who is elected president is on the board 6 yrs).
Each chapter has elections and officers who hold positions for 2 yrs. So, except for the presidents of the board, they are all short positions.
On top of this, there is the staff, which is full time hired staff, typically not designers, but professionals who work in the field of membership organizations.
So - why do I bother telling you these boring facts? Many people want a shake up at IDSA, its an ol' boys network, same faces, gone with the times. Many, many people have the same concerns/complaints that I see on this board, and all in all, many of them valid and true statements. The value that IDSA brings is not clear, changes to the society are slow to come, other media/venues provides the membership better/more up to date content - all true. We're not blind to the truth.
The fact is that IDSA is going through a shake up - the new CEO (staff side) Clive Roux is brand new in the role and really competent, tough, realistic, and doesn't see the society through rose colored glasses. The board is also fresh, asking tough questions, and laying out a path out of the quagmire it inherited. It's not so pretty, but I have a lot of trust and hope.
I can easily say this because I attend the board meetings, I see the plans and I know the inside scoop, but I anticipate that the positive changes in IDSA will take time to filter out to its members, and even longer to its disgruntled past members and hopeful new ones.
But we get it - you need better content from IDSA's publications, conferences, events, etc. Networking is critical but the schmooze 'n' booze isn't enough. The website sucks - only touch better than an 1995 version of it. You need more tangible, concrete benefits - something you can sink your teeth into.
As a northeast VP, I am starting by focusing on getting better content at the regional conference. Career advice from a panel of experts, workshops on new techniques and software, no 1 hour "talking heads" speeches on people's work, but instead a dialog between all speakers with each other and the audience. And I have asked the media - Fast Company, Metropolis Magazine, Core77, Businessweek on a panel to discuss/critique the design industry -we're not patting each other on the back, we're talking frankly about how are we doing. Plus there is a "lunch with the speakers," where you can meet, network, and engage in a dialog with a speaker you like and others at your table. Then of course there is the parties and I am still working on the studio tour. Lastly, there is a whole other design conference that we are doing this with - Thinking Creatively, which is free to IDSA attendees, and right in the same campus, all with awesome content as well.
Much of this is new events, more/better content, more interactive, more dialog, better/more value, more of what people have been asking for.
Its not the end of the improvements, its only one event, but its a start. We grow from here.
Get involved by attending and making it a better conference by your presence. Ask those tough questions of the speakers, tell IDSA what you think of them in person, meet some great people and drink a few brews on us.

Marco

Re: 2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 9th, 2010, 12:29 am

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Marco,

Thank you for your feedback and as mentioned before this kind of honest back and forth conversation is what I truly think needs to happen in order for it to get better. We also appreciate your participation and taking the blows from the our bloggers. My only response to that is for you guys to keep this dialog going and follow it up with actions. I do plan to eat my words and go to the NE conference and it is starting to sound pretty good, but like you said this is only one event and we need much more. I remember here Frank T speak about his vision for IDSA and I was really excited to see his vision come to life, but as you know it never happened. I don't know the reason for it but it was quite a let down.

How do we get a bit more say into what is going on? I You guys keep telling us to get involved, but honestly I don't really know how. I have been to some of the events in NYC and I sometimes make the happy hours, but I would love to understand how to get more involved in helping it change. What about Town Hall type meetings for each District? This alone could flush out some of the issues that have been brewing.
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2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 9th, 2010, 6:30 am

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Thanks Marco. Really appreciate your input, and a little news on what is going on. Thanks a ton for staying in the conversation!

I hate to say it, but I'm in "I'll believe it when I see it mode" so I probably will not be going to a conference for a bit. I'm thinking about National, but only because it is in Portland.

The need is really closing.
With the multitude of design websites, what is the need for an IDSA site?
With awesome conferences like TED, Pop Tech, A Better World By Design and so on, what is the need an IDSA conference at all?

At this point, the best things are the regular local events that build community on a grass roots level. The two previous chairs here in Boston did a great job of that with pretty much no support. The folks in Portland are also doing a fantastic job. They are making a difference where it shows/matters most, and I think here the IDSA might have a better shot at filling a need and rebooting.

Re: 2010 IDSA NE conf...

March 9th, 2010, 8:06 am

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After going for a run and thinking about this in the back of my mind, I think there are a few areas that IDSA could address a designer's need more effectively than a business or blog. IDSA might be doing some of these already, if it is, please let us know.

1) Curating the History of Design: There are several ways to do this. Most obviously first would be to have an online repository for this history, which could be done in a Wiki style so the content was always being added to, and it would take months to launch instead of years. There are a lot of stories that could be easily collected and put in one place. The not so easy part would be to engage the older generations to un earth the stories that are being lost forever.

I had the opportunity to meet by chance an older designer who was in his 80's (this was back in the late 90's) we became friends and I learned that he had worked with Raymond Loewy, later went to work for one of his clients full time, ended up designing the products, the factory, the office building, sitting on the board.... We would get lunch once a month or so and I got to see his flat files of drawings, see his work, here his story. We lost touch when I moved to the West coast, and I curse myself for not keeping in touch. These people's stories need to be saved.

Why? Because in my experience many designers (students and professionals) don't fully understand the context of our work in relation to the designers that came before. understanding this I feel helps us to preserve our integrity and not just do what others in the process say.

2) Advocating and educating business and engineering professionals. Obviously, nearly 80 years in, we still struggle with this. Design council has done an excellent job publishing case studies that help give designers the information we need to explain how we have helped business become more successful, products to be better, and consumers to be more satisfies with their products ( http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/Case-Studies/ ). Beyond that, I think an excellent use of dues would be to present case studies directly to CEOs, meaning setting up an appointment with a CEO of a company who is miss-using or flat out not using design effectively, and presenting how design could help based on what design has done for other businesses in a way that simply promotes the value of the profession in an understandable, but not dogmatic way.

A couple of thoughts....

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 10:14 am

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>>>> NOTE<<<<

These posts were split from the IDSA NE conference discussion because the Moderators felt the discussion took a turn to talk about the IDSA in more of a general way. We hope this continues in a constructive way.


Thanks!

Michael

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 10:24 am

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Thanks you YO. It would be nice to keep this as an on going discussion between menbers and the IDSA. We have now put an olive branch out there. This is the perfect vehicle for the board to use for feedback.
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 12:56 pm

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Marco: Thanks for the run down of the IDSA inner structure. That's something I've never seen before.

Yo!: Great suggestions. Lots to think about. I thought I was the only one that wanted to curate design history.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 1:46 pm

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Michael -

With regards to your request that IDSA do more to curate the history of ID, you might take a look at the following links:

http://www.idsa.org/absolutenm/templates/?a=80
Complete history of the organization and its' various forms over the years.

http://www.idsa.org/absolutenm/templates/?a=51
100 Years of Design - with extensive excerpts from Carroll Gantz, FIDSA and his book, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-Produced Designs of the 20th Century

http://www.idsa.org/absolutenm/templates/?a=4847
A complete list of all of IDSA's past Presidents with photos and bios for nearly all of them. (Mine's missing, but that's my fault, not theirs. They've asked me repeatedly for the info.)

http://www.idsa.org/absolutenm/templates/?a=812
A complete list of all of IDSA's Fellows with photos and bios.

This is a pretty robust and amazing repository of information about the profession, actually.

Additionally, the Design History Section within IDSA, (chaired by Bret Smith of Auburn University with Vicki Matranga of the International Home and Housewares Association) is very active. Bret's been curating a video series of interviews of older designers. Vicki's also been conducting interviews. She did a nice podcast series with Chuck Harrison a year or so ago as well. I certainly don't know everything they are working on, but I do know they are working and doing cool things and they have a lot of support. It's good stuff.

IDSA also maintains a rather large archive of documents and content at Syracuse University. The organization has been building relationships with groups like the Henry Ford Museum to find permanent homes for much of this material so it can be put on display and made more accessible to the general public. Those kinds of things take time to work out, but the discussions are being had and progress is being made.

Best,

Michelle Berryman, IDSA

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 2:04 pm

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Okay - had to do a short meeting so, to finish my thought from earlier . . .

With regard to the second point Michael made about case studies, IDSA is actively generating content in this area too through the Catalyst program. http://www.idsacatalyst.org/

Originally, conceived as a competition among previous IDEA winning products, the program has evolved to showcase the most meaningful design success stories. During my term as IDSA President, Ravi Sawhney, FIDSA of RKS Designs came forward with an idea to revamp and re-orient the Catalyst program (mid-late 2008). The Board and staff embraced the change and appointed Ravi to lead the initiative. He assembled an all-star cast of reviewers http://www.idsacatalyst.org/panel.php. Their first set of case studies were published in December 2009.

There will be calls for submission throughout the year. The most recent call closed on March 1st.

Although the program is still young, I think everyone associated with the effort is very pleased with the early results. I certainly am - and I can't wait to see the next set of case studies.

Best,

Michelle

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 2:27 pm

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Can you tell us the process behind how Ravi's review team was selected?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 2:34 pm

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First, in case Marco wasn't clear and for those of you who has some inaccurate idea (Taylor) about where the money goes and who getting paid: NONE of the members of the board are paid, other than the Executive Director of IDSA (Clive Roux) who is in charge of the paid staff that runs the day to day operations of IDSA.

So let's stop this trash talk about how the board is stuffing the membership dues into their pockets. It's simply not true and I'd prefer you get your facts straight before taking the baseball bat to IDSA. Beat us up with the facts, but not with assumptions. Thanks.

Yes, I'm the one who's benefited from my IDSA membership. Personally I've found that my relationships via IDSA have afforded me access to opportunities that merely posting on a discussion board couldn't do. What's better than face-to-face interaction? If I'm hired or being hired, I'll bet it'll be based on more than some discussion board posts...

Anyway, my current role on the board of IDSA is VP of the Professional Interest Sections (once again, this is a unpaid volunteer position). For those of you who aren't familiar, the Sections are intended to provide a "community within a community" of designers with similar interests (like Furniture or Medical products). I served as the Chair of the Materials and Processes Section for over 10 years (that's why Stu asked me to be a moderator of the Materials and Processes discussion board here on Core77).

To answer Yo's question: Yes, there is a Design History Section and there is a database being built right now at Auburn Univ. that is aggregating a lot of the personal histories of designers along with the stories you're taking about. Just keep in mind that doing this has, and continues to, take a ton of time to set up and manage. This time either has to be donated or paid for (or sponsored). But I have seen an early version of it and I think you will like it. My hope is that this will evolve into true History of Industrial Design curriculum for design schools (most still teach just architectural history).

Also, there's a Section of IDSA called SAGE which should serve as sort of "community of elders" from which members can find mentors and career guidance form those who have gone before us. I'm trying to arrange that at every portfolio review at the District Conferences this year, we can set up a "Mentors Table" for students, new graduates and even older professionals can connect with someone who may be able to share some insights and guidance on their design careers. The Mentors program is something I'd like to build on because mentoring isn't something you can do very easily on a discussion board. I know there's many of us (myself included) who could use some mentoring from time to time in our careers.

I am gratified that there are so many folks out there (current and past IDSA members) who are still very passionate about their design community. I truly welcome all the (constructive) comments, suggestions and observations about what IDSA is or isn't doing and what it should or shouldn't be. Should IDSA exist? I still think so because despite all the online resources that many of you site, nobody's been able to show me an organization that is as interested and committed to me and my career as an industrial designer as IDSA is. All the other web sites are great, but they don't represent or speak for me.

Obviously, that's not to say IDSA has done a good job. Nobody is claiming that (and we've got the member survey to prove it). But one of our biggest mistakes (in my opinion) has been that we never had an efficient and effective mechanism for constructive feedback from the design community (that's what we hope the website will be). Further, IDSA didn't do a good job explaining what it was doing and why. Sure, we've put out a few press releases, but IDSA isn't truly transparent to the membership and design community at large--so it's no wonder why there's so much misinformation flying around. That's something I, as an unpaid volunteer IDSA board member, am trying to change.

But it does start with constructive dialog and I appreciate those who have contributed. Frankly, I'd like more face-to-face discussions. Sometimes it's easy to hide behind an avatar on Core, but what about getting your hands dirty and really getting into it. I'm not afraid of the criticism, just be willing to hang around for the solution--better yet, be part of the solution.

So, you want to discuss IDSA face-to-face? Then come out to the Southern and Western District conferences--I'll be at both. In fact, there will be someone representing the board at all the District conferences. We're all ears....

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
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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

March 9th, 2010, 3:00 pm

aaron
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Warren's response is direct and compelling. I admit that there is nothing I can think of that would make me want to give IDSA another chance so maybe I should stay off this thread and save the space for those who are still malleable. I am curious though, since it was mentioned as an example of the new IDSA, based on the relationship between the selected Catalyst Case Studies and the Catalyst Review Panel doesn't this seem like the old way of doing things? Warren?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 3:09 pm

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aaron wrote:Warren's response is direct and compelling. I admit that there is nothing I can think of that would make me want to give IDSA another chance so maybe I should stay off this thread and save the space for those who are still malleable. I am curious though, since it was mentioned as an example of the new IDSA, based on the relationship between the selected Catalyst Case Studies and the Catalyst Review Panel doesn't this seem like the old way of doing things? Warren?
A reasonable question, Aaron. Since I'm not directly involved with Catalyst, I don't want to speak out of school. So I will ask Clive to address this.

With respect to you earlier comment, "there is nothing I can think of that would make me want to give IDSA another chance", I am curious (and if it's not too personal): What's your specific story with respect to IDSA? I'm just curious since I am the newest member of the IDSA board I am particularly interested in hearing from ex-members of IDSA to better understand why you joined originally and what, specifically, did you not get that turned you off?

My question isn't so much to get you to re-join, but obviously something(s) didn't work for you and I'm just curious what that was. Thanks, if you're willing to answer. You're welcome to send me a private response if you prefer.

I'll ask Clive to address your question regarding Catalyst.

Cheers,

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
http://www.ginndesign.com

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