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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 12:02 am

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warrenginn
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Greenman wrote:
aaron wrote:In all seriousness, do you really think that Core is that great and beneficial to the profession? Do you really think it does that much more than the IDSA to benefit designers?
I don't think one is necessarily more beneficial than the other, they operate through different mediums.

Core77 is effective because of ease of access, amount of content, and speed of communication.
Don't forget that Core77 is free.
Greenman wrote:IDSA is effective because of it's face-to-face principles, guest speakers, events, competitions, and student developmental involvement.

Would the profession benefit if any of these were to disappear? I think not. But I will say that logging onto Core77 throughout may day helps put different perspectives on my own work, and that can be very beneficial, if not humorous or a good break. IDSA on the other hand does a lot to engage students and gets them excited about the profession, which has a different benefit, but what can they turn to every day after they graduate? What does IDSA offer in this regard?
That's a good point. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd have a constant stream of commentary and blog posts at the IDSA website. It would take a small army to do what Core does everyday (because Core77 has an army + staff to do it), but that's probably not going to happen at the scale that's happening here.

What I do think we can do is to do better is engaging students and young professionals about just how cool it is to be a designer. I know this is particularly tough these days given the state of the job market, but how many of you out there have dropped by you local design school or invited a bunch of fresh-faced grads out for an adult beverage? I guarantee you that you'll get as much out of the conversation as they will... That's why i volunteer to guest lecture and help out over at NC State (my alma mater). I get so energized and inspired by them because they're so eager and biting at the bit to do what I do every day. It reminds me why I do this for a living...

That's what IDSA can do better...
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, 12:08 am

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micberryman
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I reached out to Ravi Sawhney tonight regarding the Catalyst program. His e-mail auto-responder says he's out of the office with little or no e-mail access through 3/10. I'll try to connect with him again later in the week and will post an update when I have one - and/or have him post an update.

CG - IDSA is the largest membership-based professional society of Industrial Designers in the world. By far. That may be semantics to you, but it is a true statement based on facts. It is a New York based not-for-profit corporation, organized as a 501(c)6 representing the professional practice of Industrial Design. It's a trade association with members who pay dues to belong to the organization. There is not a larger, trade association with dues paying members for industrial design anyplace in the world. There are online communities like Core77 that may have a larger number of participants and there are government-based Design Councils in places like the UK and Denmark that represent industrial design as an industry sector which may encompass many more than 3,000 people, but there is not a larger trade association, professional society or guild. Additionally, IDSA, like many of the Design Councils, other government-based design promotion agencies, other membership-based organizations, a few universities, corporations, consultancies and awards programs, is a member of Icsid (the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.) As such, IDSA represents the interests of industrial designers from North America on a global stage. This takes many, many forms, but is a topic for another discussion at another time.

Best,

Michelle Berryman, IDSA

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 1:00 am

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lingmiester
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Hello everyone,

First off its been awhile, but I thought I might share a few of my thoughts. While I'm not a member of IDSA, I have on many occasions met and interacted with the individuals from IDSA and I have to say they are some of the most dedicated and passionate people out there.

Next, unfortunately what I have been reading about the IDSA, I can compare it with similar problems with many other associations (not only design) out there in the world. This leads me to agree with Yo, that it is a problem with the system more than anything else.

Associations are essentially a body or group of individuals, and sites like Core 77 and other forums in many ways are very similar. The web has impacted and caused many organizations and businesses to rethink how they do things, and IMHO it is time that associations do the same.

For example, if a site like Core 77 can give you the same satisfaction for free, why would someone pay to join an association?

If associations are suppose to allow for networking and job hunting, then why is it so difficult to get my portfolio out? Who do I call?

I think if we sat down and looked at what designers need and ask for today, we can already start improving and understand what associations mean to designers in general.

Hey is that not a typical user centered design process? We apply it in out work everyday, often we forget to apply it in the things that are most important to us.

Best of luck IDSA!

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 1:03 am

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cg
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warrenginn wrote:It's amazing the kind of numbers you can generate when membership is free. I think IxDA boast 10,000 members.
Great point!

So if IDSA thinks it's important to be able to say they "represent the largest group," why not make it free?

Here's IDSA's Revenue vs. Expense from the 2008 annual report. This says a few things: IDSA is mostly about conferences (and is loosing money at it) and membership revenue is small and largely offset by "other."
idsa.jpg
idsa.jpg (28.84 KiB) Viewed 1876 times

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 2:42 am

gmccain
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"IDSA is mostly about conferences (and is loosing [sic] money at it) and membership revenue is small and largely offset by "other."

Well, you can't learn everything from looking at a pretty Excel graph. There is no entity that has done more to sell "design" to the corporate boardroom (and the general public) than IDSA - ever. Mainly through the IDSA/BusinessWeek IDEA competition - arguably the most important design competition in the world and, incidentally, one of the cheapest to enter. The Catalyst program is also contributing to the business world's understanding of the power of design and design thinking. With the demise of I(nternational D(esign) magazine IDSA's quarterly magazine, Innovation, is the only (major) magazine published in the US that covers Industrial Design.

We can thank IDSA for a good share of the current buzz around design. Remember when even your parents didn't know what you did? Not saying other forces haven't been involved in our current status but let's give some credit where credit is due.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 1:22 pm

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rkuchinsky
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gmccain wrote:"IDSA is mostly about conferences (and is loosing [sic] money at it) and membership revenue is small and largely offset by "other."

Well, you can't learn everything from looking at a pretty Excel graph. There is no entity that has done more to sell "design" to the corporate boardroom (and the general public) than IDSA - ever. Mainly through the IDSA/BusinessWeek IDEA competition - arguably the most important design competition in the world and, incidentally, one of the cheapest to enter. The Catalyst program is also contributing to the business world's understanding of the power of design and design thinking. With the demise of I(nternational D(esign) magazine IDSA's quarterly magazine, Innovation, is the only (major) magazine published in the US that covers Industrial Design.

We can thank IDSA for a good share of the current buzz around design. Remember when even your parents didn't know what you did? Not saying other forces haven't been involved in our current status but let's give some credit where credit is due.

Sorry, but I think a very clear graph published by IDSA itself says quite a lot more than anecdotal information.

Where the numbers to prove that ISDA has done more to sell design than anyone else? Not saying it hasn't helped, but I think the attitude that IDSA is so great and infallible is part of the problem. IDSA does have it's good things, but also a lot of weaknesses.

R
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http://www.directivecollective.com

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 1:35 pm

aaron
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There is no entity that has done more to sell "design" to the corporate boardroom and the general public than IDSA - ever.

This is really true. I agree with it 100% and in my mind it should be the starting point for every conversation about the organization.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 2:21 pm

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cg
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aaron wrote:There is no entity that has done more to sell "design" to the corporate boardroom and the general public than IDSA - ever.

This is really true. I agree with it 100% and in my mind it should be the starting point for every conversation about the organization.
I take issue with that. I've been an IDSA member for 15 years, and here's my story: I was the highest ranking designer for an $80 Billion Corporation (Cardinal Health) and was responsible for selling design to the corporate boardroom. IDSA played no role whatsoever, and is unknown to those executives. They were also unfamiliar with IDEA program (I doubt many executives are actually familiar with IDEA, subscribe to BusinessWeek or correlate the two.)

Here's what did sell design:

1) The new CEO of Cardinal Health was the #2 at P&G, and had experience working with IDEO on 50+ projects. He brought that experience with him and educated his peers and reports.

2) Management guru's like Seth Godin and Tom Peters, who wrote a book on Design that I gave to our executives.

3) Alan Cooper, author of The Inmates are Running the Asylum which provided a clear path forward for the development organization, and was directly responsible for the creation of my role and hire.

4) An executive presentation I created after being inspired by a 2005 Fast Company article on Chuck Jones at Whirlpool. In the deck I included case studies that I had to pull together myself, since IDSA didn't have anything to offer. (Chuck had to create all his own case studies too.) Mine came from Business Week, the Corporate Design Foundation (@Issue magazine) and Harvard Business School. I actually purchased the IDSA "Corporate Design Group Study" that was published in 99 but found it to be worthless due to its impossibly small sample size (I'm guessing that's why it was never re-done.)

5) The UK's Design Council, who has a Design Index that correlates design with shareholder value.

6) Visits to top ID firms to hear about their case studies and process

7) My own internal success stories

That's my story. But I'd like to hear some stories of what IDSA has done to " sell design to the corporate boardroom and the general public," please elaborate!

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 2:31 pm

aaron
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I did not state that IDSA did everything for everyone at every position in every company but I still can't think of an organization that has done more. Certainly lots and lots of other people (from Russell Wright to Starck) and other organizations (from APDF to DMI) have made great contributions but have any of them done MORE than IDSA? I don't think so. I guess I'll give some more thought.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 2:40 pm

Matches740
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Ok so i think i'm coming in from a new perspective on all of these, being a student (i believe no one else is, but sorry too many long posts for me to be reading at work). I'm actually the president of the student chapter of IDSA at The University of Cincinnati, so by no means do I represent that national organization. IDSA though has been both a blessing and a curse on me since i joined the student chapter my sophomore year and I've been to every Mideast District Conference since so this year will mark my third and have attended local IDSA Souther Ohio Chapter events which puts me as one of the most involved students in our chapter. Currently we're boasting about 40-50 members which is actually one out of largest years. But in my experience, we as a student chapter run pretty much independently, money is funded by the school and if we don't have enough we raise it ourselves, events are thought up and organized by about 8-10 of us and everything for our members is completely FREE, we even invite the professionals to our events free of charge. Which is especially sad when the professionals have an event the students have to paid, we even have to pay $50 as a chapter to even be recognized as a student chapter of IDSA. Notice that little blip on the chart under education? if that is meaning put towards events with and for students than there is one of your major problems with IDSA. Shouldn't we be putting more to educating and nurturing better education in design? To the student chapter our biggest benefit from the national chapter is the ability to go to the conference for a "low" rate. These conferences have been an awesome time to meet and talk with......other students (If anyone was at last years IDSA Mideast Conference the DMZ networking which was suppose to be an event for students and professionals to meet, had about a 15-1 ratio of students/pros). By no means am I saying it's a bad thing to interact with other students, in fact it's a great thing. Actually last year at the Mideast Conference the best part was the social that the students organized after conference events at a bar near the hotel. Literally every student was there networking with one another, how much did this cost....nothing, at least for the organization lol. So i digress.

All i'm trying to say is the following...
IDSA is not a ol' boys club, there is a lot of untapped potential in the younger generations that IDSA is losing once they graduate and lose the student chapter privileges. It's just become too costly for some, mostly the young professionals. Especially when you then have to pay to attend events that your chapter puts on. Also the politics are ridiculous, why does Ohio have 3 chapters? This has bottled necked us into pretty much exclusively working with the Southern Ohio Chapter, leaving the Central and Northern untapped by my school. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to get the student chapters involved with professionals and make the entire community grow, from listening to what some of the student chapters put on there is a lot of potential to have IDSA grow as a whole.

I'm welcome to any comments or questions. I love my IDSA student chapter and with only a year left, I want to continue to have the awesome time that i've had as a student into my professional career with the organization. And thanks for reading and to core for allowing a huge place like this for the design community to communicate.
"Never fall in love with your design....you will forget her in the morning"
- Soo-Shin Choi

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 2:44 pm

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Mr-914
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cg: First of all, thanks for the links and interesting books. I hadn't heard of some of those. I'll hit the 'net reading tonight.

Second, I know what you mean about selling design. Here in Canada, we have an association, ADIQ, and a corporate tax credit for hiring IDers. The only business-people I've met who were aware of either, already had design departments. They seem to do zero for creating new business.

On the other hand, pushy designers, personal relationships and stories seem to do the trick. How can IDSA learn from that? I don't know.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 3:35 pm

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cg
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I was SHOCKED to find that there wasn't a resource for me to go to to sell my profession. It took an amazing amount of effort to pull together my presentation. I even contacted Chuck to ask if he could share his Whirlpool deck, and he politely declined due to it's proprietary nature. Understandable, and exactly why a professional organization should be providing those types of tools to it's members.

Here's a little test to prove my point: Pick any great design case study that you'd use to sell your profession to management. Google it. What do the search results tell you about who's really advocating our profession?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 3:51 pm

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I know this discussion contains some touchy stuff, but I have to say the amount of information from both sides has been awesome.

CG, that is an awesome story.

Michelle Marco and Warren, thanks for continuing to be a part of this discussion. It wouldn't be one without you.

a few key take aways I'm getting from this is that:

1) it seems that most everyone is pretty passionate about there being a strong national design org. (that is good news for IDSA)
2) the folks at the IDSA put a lot into the organization (without a doubt)
3) IDSA has a huge relations problem with some of it's core base demographic (is the surmountable?)


Did I miss any of the other key points? Maybe we can recap a bit?

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 3:53 pm

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cg
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I'm feeling very emotional right now.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 10th, 2010, 4:13 pm

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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.
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