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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 4:28 pm

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rkuchinsky
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For reference to an institution that I think works very well and has a great reputation, you might want to check out The Design Exchange. It's not a professional organization per se (though there is membership at various levels), but functions to represent design to both the public, business and designers. The DX to note is also a Charitable Organization and receives no grants instead relies on support from individuals and corporate partners.

http://www.dx.org

They do some really amazing programs which I have been fortunate to be a part of of.

What I think is the most interesting thing is that there is equal "ownership" of the institution by designs and the public alike. In this way it is even more effective at communicating the need for good design to industry.

Some of the interesting things they do-

1. Designers in the Classroom. Brings designers into secondary schools to teach design to kids 3-10.
2. High school design competitions (I will be a judge for the next one in April)
3. March break and summer design camps for kids
4. Canadian Business Hall of Fame in partnershp with Junior Achievement design Charettes for University level designers across all disciplines (again I participated in this)
5. DX Awards which are done with a National Business Newspaper (sorta like the IDEA awards but even moreso focused on the resulting business success through good design)
6. Many lectures, workshops, galas, etc.
7. They have a physical space, so also are open to the public as a design museum
8. They also administer the National Archives of Design (again, I'm a board member) which preserves the history of Design in Canada
9. I believe they also have a direct connection to government and a stake in making design policy

To me, their model is what I think IDSA should become.

1. By becoming more cross discipline, I think it does not water down ID, but rather makes it more relevant. As we know, ID today can include anything from traditional consumer products to footwear, fashion, UX, POP, graphics etc.

2. By becoming an organization that the public, business or design advocates can join, it makes the case to relate design to business and the public all the more effective and relevant. It also helps subsidize professional activities since they bring in revenue from the general public.

3. By being more involved with students at levels lower than university (let's start in kindergarden!) it makes the education and promotion of design more ingrained in the public dialog and could generate a whole new generation of designers. Why wait until they are in university and already know they want to be a designer? Grab them when they are young and I guarantee you will see more and more youngsters want to be designers, earlier and earlier.

Ok, that's my pitch. But seriously, check out the DX link. If they can do so much, not even being a national organization and having a physical exhibition space sure the IDSA can get some more traction if a different mandate and operating procedure where perhaps considered. The DX to note is also a Charitable Organization and receives no grants.

R

Their mandate -
What is design?
Design is an important component of our everyday lives. Product design, package design, brand and corporate identity, retail design, book and brochure design, interactive design (software, interactive information, interfaces), and design of buildings and environments represent the spheres of influence of design on our lives. The design disciplines of concentration for the DX include:


Architecture
Fashion Design
Urban Design
Industrial Design
Landscape Architecture
Environmental Design


Graphic Design and Visual Communications
Engineering Design
Theatre and Set Design
Interior Design
Interactive Media Design
Our mission
To promote the value of Canadian design, through engaging and enriching programs.

Our vision
"Canada by Design" to establish Canada as a design leader worldwide.

Our guiding principles
1. Leveraging the Power of Design: Design has the power to create and sustain economic advantage for Canada and the role of the Design Exchange is to promote and leverage the value of design-led thinking to enable the business community to take full advantage of the opportunities that good design creates.

2. Establishing a Cohesive Design Sector Workforce: The role of the Design Exchange is to encourage and create incentives for design professionals from all disciplines to work together, across disciplines, in order to more efficiently and more effectively serve the needs of our business and social communities and to create competitive advantage.

3. Promoting Design Excellence: The concept of good design involves a strategic and creative process that integrates technical, functional, aesthetic, cultural and economic considerations. The Design Exchange facilitates new collaborative efforts to produce good Canadian design and promotes and celebrates Canadian design success stories.

4. Showcasing Good Design: The Design Exchange is North America’s premier Design Centre with exhibition, presentation and meeting space to showcase the best in design and to host public and private forums on design issues.

5. Connecting Through Networks: The Design Exchange builds links between education, business, designers, and the public through its programs, which outreach to national and international audiences.

DX goals
To be recognized internationally as a center of design excellence for Canada.

To build a Canadian brand identity, nationally and internationally.

To offer DX programs and services locally, provincially and nationally.

To operate efficiently and effectively with a stable financial platform.

Our values
We value design excellence for all segments of the Canadian population.

We value designers and the design process across every discipline.

We value the role and power of design in the Canadian economy.

We value design’s contribution to quality of life for Canadians.

We value collaboration and interactivity between the DX and all Canadians.

We value the contribution of youth education programs to our future.

We value creativity and innovation.
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 4:29 pm

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Mr-914
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****hugs cg****

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 4:38 pm

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warrenginn
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no_spec wrote:cg, have you ever asked yourself why others who went through exactly what you did never vounteered their results?
Did you ever consider offering your pitch to the IDSA?
Ever present it at a conference for others to benefit from?

this is the crux to why there's no "meat" to their magazine or conferences. everything designers learn that gives them an advantage in the job market - they keep to themselves. Think back to the days of "Innovation" as a buzzword. Big name consultancies were selling lectures and books on the subject that were nothing more than sales pitches for thier service. right?

as has been repeated, the organization is only what the members contribute, and no-one is giving up the goods.
Well put. I applaud CG and what he had to do out of necessity. That's precisely the kind of story I plan to bring up at the next board meeting. (In fact, a lot of this thread will be brought up at the next meeting and on our internal wiki.)

You're getting at the core of the challenge we face: That precious content that you poured your blood, sweat and tears into is exactly what we need to be aggregating and delivering at IDSA. But here's the rub: Exactly who is going to generate all that content? The paid IDSA staff? Despite all the wonderful work they do keeping IDSA and its event running, they're not industrial designers (with the exception of Clive). They don't know what you know (nor are they expected to). We depend on our volunteers for that content; the staff is just there to make sure that it get organized and is made available to the membership.

Unfortunately, we're in a a bit of a catch-22 here: Many question the value of IDSA due to its lack of content, but we need the content to attract members to generate or at least aggregate... content. Plus, we need to "close the feedback loop" so everyone, members and non-members alike, can voice those needs and be heard. Maybe we could have put together a group to help CG create this presentation. Maybe we could get him some funding... Anything's possible, but I'm just reacting after the fact. I'd like to be on the front side of these things if possible so we can do something positive.

So it's not an unreasonable question to ask CG: As a 15 year member of IDSA, have you considering allowing IDSA to publish your pitch? It sounds amazing and would extremely helpful to your colleagues. I know from my standpoint, you'd be a hero amongst your peers and we would be eternally grateful for your contribution.

What do you say?
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

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 4:46 pm

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cg
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I can't for the exact same reason that Chuck Jones couldn't--it's proprietary to my employer. And it's 5 years out of date. I did it for their benefit on their dime. That's why I said IDSA should be providing this type of content that we can't share amongst ourselves.

If I could share, I'd likely think to post it on my website and link to it from the Core77 blog for maximum exposure.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 5:08 pm

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yo
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@No Spec and Warren, This strikes me as odd: and correct me if I'm getting this wrong, but we need to pay for an organization to volunteer content to so they can sell the idea of organization and get more people to volunteer content? Seems like a tough sell there. What is the service that the IDSA would be providing in that situation that say Dexigner.com isn't?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 5:26 pm

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rkuchinsky
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I agree, giving content for IDSA to make money on (either directly selling it or indirectly via memberships) doesn't sounds like a very good deal to me.

Perhaps it could flipped around. People already generate tons of content through blogs, books (like Yo's for example), courses (I've done a few for example that I could see being of value to others)...maybe what could work is if IDSA partnered with something like Blurb.com or Lulu.com and then authors could have their work published, under an IDSA "label", still own the content, and receive a major portion of the revenue. IDSA would get a small bit, but more importantly IDSA would be "distributing" the content and have their name attached to good stuff. The content would be available to both members and non-members, and perhaps even a special discount could apply to members (though I think it is better to be equally priced for all). IDSA needs to forget about the quick cashgrab (ie. I saw those case studies on Catalyst still cost $$), and concentrate more on being the go to place for good design content. Revenue can come later or in different ways, but fundamental information and useful publications should be accessible for all, otherwise people will just go elsewhere.

Think of how many design books are published every year independently or from publishing houses like Taschen and Phaidon. IDSA could be OWNING this market if they use their brand to aggregate all kinds of stuff and put their stamp of approval on it!

Think about it - an easy stream for example for good value and revenue could even be to create the ultimate portfolio printing service! Or how about publishing a final year's school exhibition in print or online. If IDSA was the goto source for things like this, every student would know about IDSA and have an easy entry...

In fact, just thinking about this kind of stuff (I'm making it up as I type) is actually very exciting. There are so many possibilities. Perhaps the next IDSA conference should just be a design charette about what the organization could/should be. I'd bet with 50-100 designers in one room for one day (with a few beers) the results would be amazing! It could even be a virtual conversation like this is.

R
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 5:40 pm

no_spec
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several years ago there was a thread about blogging that started something like: out of a hundred people, 1 percent generate content, 10 will respond, and the rest just read. This is what I'm saying is the problem.

IDSA can either screen and recruit that 1 percent somehow or, find a compelling way to convince designers not to ask what IDSA can do for them, but what can they do for IDSA.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 5:51 pm

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yo
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I think that ratio holds true.

@R, that would be pretty awesome.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 5:59 pm

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cg
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I would have gladly paid IDSA $1500 for access to the case studies I needed. We regularly paid that amount for information--it's easily justifiable.

Here's a business-model to consider: help designers self publish for profit. Create an online marketplace that allows both the designer and the IDSA to profit for the benefit of other designers. Let anyone create an IDSA webinar, and split the profits of the registration fees.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 6:09 pm

no_spec
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perhaps the role model is more like the DMI. I know a lot of companies have paid for IDSA memberships in the past but I don't know of anyone in DMI on their own nickel. Business buy the consulting and the publications - not designers.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 6:24 pm

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rkuchinsky
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no_spec wrote:perhaps the role model is more like the DMI. I know a lot of companies have paid for IDSA memberships in the past but I don't know of anyone in DMI on their own nickel. Business buy the consulting and the publications - not designers.
Though I've followed and been interested in DMI, I am always turned off at the prices and have never had a corporate company willing to pay for it. Things like the webinars I am always surprised at how expensive they are given the media (web) is free. Actually gives me a bad feeling thinking about DMI because of it, so maybe not a good model to follow.

It's sorta the same feeling I have about TED. The conferences cost a ridiculous amount of $$ so have hate for them (and don't see why access to good ideas should cost $20,000! - If they were really in the business of spreading good ideas I think the first thing should accessibility for all), but because everything is online and the content is so great I like them. conflicted feelings.

R
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 6:52 pm

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cg wrote:I would have gladly paid IDSA $1500 for access to the case studies I needed. We regularly paid that amount for information--it's easily justifiable.

Here's a business-model to consider: help designers self publish for profit. Create an online marketplace that allows both the designer and the IDSA to profit for the benefit of other designers. Let anyone create an IDSA webinar, and split the profits of the registration fees.
Definetly, the value is the expertise in the systems. If IDSA develops the capability to produce webinars and books, that is essentially a sellable service.

On the same tip, think of all of the legal and tax learnings so many of us have duplicated around contracts and incorporating.... Selling design consultancy and independent contractor how toos could be fantastic

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 7:06 pm

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rkuchinsky
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yo wrote:
cg wrote:I would have gladly paid IDSA $1500 for access to the case studies I needed. We regularly paid that amount for information--it's easily justifiable.

Here's a business-model to consider: help designers self publish for profit. Create an online marketplace that allows both the designer and the IDSA to profit for the benefit of other designers. Let anyone create an IDSA webinar, and split the profits of the registration fees.
Definetly, the value is the expertise in the systems. If IDSA develops the capability to produce webinars and books, that is essentially a sellable service.

On the same tip, think of all of the legal and tax learnings so many of us have duplicated around contracts and incorporating.... Selling design consultancy and independent contractor how toos could be fantastic

IDSA infoSTORE anyone?

R
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 7:27 pm

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rkuchinsky wrote:
In fact, just thinking about this kind of stuff (I'm making it up as I type) is actually very exciting. There are so many possibilities. Perhaps the next IDSA conference should just be a design charette about what the organization could/should be. I'd bet with 50-100 designers in one room for one day (with a few beers) the results would be amazing! It could even be a virtual conversation like this is.

R
I like that idea a lot. In my opinion, we succeed or fail together.

And by the way, I'm still not sure you guys get that IDSA is a not-for-profit organization. Unlike Core77 and Dexigner, we're not a for-profit business. This notion of "making money" off anyone's content isn't what we're doing. It helps finance the events and other activities, which require a lot money to run them. Of course we can improve our efficiencies, but we'll always have overhead to deal with.

Let's not kid ourselves. You don't think Core isn't making money off our collective efforts (our posts) right now? People are visiting this site to watch us discuss this issue (and hopefully to participate), but don't forget that this web site is paid for by advertising. We should be getting commission checks...

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
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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 10th, 2010, 7:49 pm

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rkuchinsky
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warrenginn wrote:
rkuchinsky wrote:
In fact, just thinking about this kind of stuff (I'm making it up as I type) is actually very exciting. There are so many possibilities. Perhaps the next IDSA conference should just be a design charette about what the organization could/should be. I'd bet with 50-100 designers in one room for one day (with a few beers) the results would be amazing! It could even be a virtual conversation like this is.

R
I like that idea a lot. In my opinion, we succeed or fail together.

And by the way, I'm still not sure you guys get that IDSA is a not-for-profit organization. Unlike Core77 and Dexigner, we're not a for-profit business. This notion of "making money" off anyone's content isn't what we're doing. It helps finance the events and other activities, which require a lot money to run them. Of course we can improve our efficiencies, but we'll always have overhead to deal with.

Let's not kid ourselves. You don't think Core isn't making money off our collective efforts (our posts) right now? People are visiting this site to watch us discuss this issue (and hopefully to participate), but don't forget that this web site is paid for by advertising. We should be getting commission checks...

w
but the key in the business models is that is transparent. I don't pay to access core or the forums, but I get countless benefits for "free". The difference is IDSA asks for money but doesn't give much in return (at least in appearance).

R
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