2016 Central Conference

Welcome to the 2016 IDSA Central District Design Conference: Industrial “Strength” Design brought to you by GE Appliances.

If there was ever a perfect time to unleash the raw power of the fundamentals of industrial design, it’s now! Today, we are experiencing an amazing intersection of mighty forces—connectivity, digitization, mobility, autonomy, sensorification and electrification in numerous product categories. Because of these forces, our world is going to be full of lucrative opportunities and surprising new challenges via the emergence of new business models.

We understand the significance of experience design and service design vectors and their positioning in the creative supply chain. But make no mistake—no amount of expensive marketing campaigns and blatant advertisements are going to work, if the core brand promise is not “squeezed” into the product itself. We, the industrial designers, still own that special aesthetic sensibility for optimally balancing form making, usability and usefulness of the product. As the legendary Dieter Rams rightfully says, “Aesthetic quality is the integral part of the utility of the object and actually helps in clarifying the structure of the object.”

Let us not just react to the superficial noise in the market, but remain focused on what we do best—the art of observation and discovery; the synthesizing of human needs and wants; the ability to formulate new world solutions via critical ideation and 3D prototyping; and aligning with them with the business purpose to create beautiful objects.

As we gather for IDSA’s Central District Design Conference in Pittsburgh—a city that’s been touted by the White House as a “bold example of how to create new jobs and industries while transitioning into the 21st century economy”—we will learn from handpicked experts in design and related fields who have successfully demonstrated the evolving methodologies of our profession as a core element of building sustainable business. Industrial design has always had a meaningful position. From now on, it’s only going to be more strategic. We should proudly declare, “We are industrial designers!”

No fooling—join us April Fool’s weekend, April 1–2, 2016, at one of the most dynamic art institutions in the United States—the Carnegie Museum of Art—founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895 and now home to a new retrospective exhibition of Peter Muller-Munk, FIDSA, one of the founders of what became, in 1934, the first industrial design department at a US university. It was then known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Now, it is the esteemed Carnegie Mellon University. Experience behind-the-scenes tours of some of the best design studios in Steel City. 

Join the journey to the 2016 IDSA Central District Design Conference @IDSA #CDDC16 @CMOA on Twitter.

Jeevak Badve, IDSA
Central District VP, IDSA Board of Directors
Vice President, Strategic Growth, Sundberg-Ferar