Thursday, February 23, 2012

Industrial Designers Hold Regional Conferences Across the Country

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) holds regional conferences each spring in locations across the country. The Regional Design Dialogues are in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Seattle. Their 2012 international Design Conference is in Boston in the fall.

IDSA is primarily for working professionals in industrial design but it also does a lot of work with college students studying to become industrial designers and the institutions where they are studying. IDSA also helps students and teachers in K-12 schools who are interested in industrial design.

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world's oldest and largest, member-driven society for product design, industrial design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design and related design fields. IDSA organizes the International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) competition annually; hosts the International Design Conference and five regional conferences each year; and publishes Innovation, a quarterly on design, and designBytes, a weekly e-newsletter highlighting the latest headlines in the design world. IDSA's charitable arm, the Design Foundation, supports the dissemination of undergraduate scholarships annually to further industrial design education.

The Society has local chapters in 27 different locations, all providing opportunities to meet other designers, learn and get inspired. There are 16 special interest groups or IDSA Sections representing diverse topics from Design for the Majority to Materials and Processes, Ecodesign to Young Professionals. IDSA has roots that reach all the way back to 1938, before the age of plastics and at least 30 years before the age of electronics and at least 50 years before the age of CAD in any form! Product design or industrial design was certainly a different profession back then.

IDSA has a small national staff based in the Washington, D.C. area which supports the member-driven activities of the Society.
Click on the heading above to explore the IDSA website and learn more about industrial design.

Can You Spot the Fashion Designers in This Picture?

When we teach fashion design in K-12 schools we are often concerned that fashion design will be more well received by the girls in the class than the boys despite the fact that many of the leading fashion designers are men. We have certain stereotypes about the kinds of people who choose fashion design as a career.

The design team Costello Tagliapietra (left) might cause students to rethink their stereotypical images of fashion designers. At Fashion Week 2012 in New York City, this unique team presented their line of form-clinging cheery-looking dresses that are sensitively responsive and flattering to the female form (right).

Jeffrey Costello and partner (and husband) Robert Tagliapietra, based their new line on a set of watercolor paintings of chrysanthemums that Jeffrey had been doing. Layering the designs and, using color, they created a depth that works in juxtaposition to the fabric's draping of the body which creates a kinetic feeling to the clothing.

Anyone who has a sensitivity to color, fabric and the human form can become a fashion designer. There is little significant difference relating to gender, race, appearance, body type, or any other distinguishing characteristics. What is most important is the quality of their designs.

Fashion Week takes place in New York City at about this time every year so February is a good time to do a lesson on fashion design with students.

Click below to see a short video of the Costello Tagliapietra runway show at Fashion Week 2012.