IDSA: Day 3 Halves


I think this conference is possibly the best thing to happen just as I am winding down the summer. If it wasn’t so darn expensive and if Eric had a bunch of free tickets, I would say everyone needs to go to at least one conference during their time as a student. It’s a great place to get inspired and pick the brains of all the oldies (but goodies) that show up to these sorts of things.

Ah, and my man Eric. What a stud. The 15 pushing 20 minutes that he talked felt like it would go on forever, and ever. It was akin to Inception, though without the wonderment or excitement. I kid, really. (it’s Eric’s last year as IDSA prez too). It’s nice to have someone I know at the conference because I’ll admit, it’s a bit intimidating being surrounded by these weather worn designers from pretty well respected design firms. Regardless, I just use my youth (and rockin’ six pack) to meet new people. Good thing I made cards.

I know you can’t see him. But trust me. He’s there

          But enough about my experience. I’ll post all the resources and stuff I find out so YOU don’t have to pay that absurd price. Enjoy

A little background about the conference if you don’t know: this conference aims to explore the rapidly growing culture of DIY’ers, people who don’t sit around waiting for answers, but seek to be a part of the solution themselves. This self motivation has garnered a ton topics to discuss, among them “will designers still have jobs?” or more broadly “how will DIY fit into the field of industrial design as we know it?”. Interesting stuff to say the least, and to be frank, something that we as young designers need to acknowledge and incorporate as we learn. Well, enough with the ramblin. I even wonder if you have read this far. If so, I thank you for humoring me. Here’s the good stuff.

Grace Bonney

Check out Design*Sponge ( by Grace Bonney. She explores the “craft” side of these DIY’ers. The interesting point she makes is that DIY’ers produce a volume of ideas, a few of which are genuinely great, some not so much, but should be seriously considered.

- is a main craft website made up of individuals submitting products (yessss)

- Check out Amaridian who hand weaves furniture, a “craft” that has become a premium product

- Check out Ponoko and Shapeways these are the go-to places for the tools once only available to designers (ie laser cutters and the likes)

What to take away? Make products personal, allow consumers to put their own input in a product. That’s what makes it personal and resonates with individual on a deeper level.

John Jay

Essentially, do something you want to do. Idk really, he used too many quotes from magazines and other written stuff it was hard to follow. But his firm did the Old Spice commercial! That was cool.

-Cai Quo-Ghang (I have no idea if the spelling is correct). He is an artist that put on an exhibition in China that invited all inventors to show their work and celebrated each one as a genius and worthy of attention

- Jason Lanier (I forget, but it was cool)

- Nau Tamura a freelance designer who utilizes the input from the crowd to produce great award winning products (and $$$)

Jay Rogers

This guy is hella tight. Local Motors, look it up. It’s basically a company who takes designs from the community and makes them a reality. They took an Art Center designer’s car renders and basically made it a reality. The car is totally sick. In essence, crowd source input created this product, not some big name car company like GM while keeping it kinda not too expense.

- co-creation vs. open source: people need to have a unified vision or else such DIY spirited projects will go nowhere.

-Rally Fighter the awesome car Local Motors produced

John Hocke

The lead designer from NIKE. The introduction of NIKE ID allowed for people to put their own touch on NIKE’s products, therefore they had a greater connection with the merchandise that they buy and wear. Genius really. He had some great words of advice.

- The bookends of good design is logic and nonsense. Keep the wild ideas coming, don’t get bogged down all the time by the logistics of this or that.

- Question, listen, edit, frame, dream connect. Yes.

- Be seduced by execution not only by drawings. This was quite striking, because this is what CMU is teaching us. Idea first, drawing second. Of course it’s important to draw, but it’s the idea that eventually sells

- Better to screw up than to be inactive. Just do it (ha! that’s a pun don’t you see?)

Yaaaa. On another note, Chris was right, the core77 store was lame. Poops. Anyways, congratulations for getting thnis far!