2013 IDSA International Conference

Join us in Chicago on August 21–24 for BREAKING THE RULES, IDSA's 2013 International Conference. We hope to inform you, inspire you and break a few rules along the way!

Building on the success of 2012's groundbreaking conference in Boston, we are expecting 800-1,000 designers, business leaders and design educators to converge on Chicago. You will network with design leaders, exchange ideas, best practices and war stories...and explore the paradox between creating and breaking the rules.

Register Now!

This year's conference takes place August 21–24 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Chicago.

To secure your seat and get full registration details, visit the Conference Registration page!

Our Partners

This year the annual Core77 Conference Party is sponsored by Eastman and Keyshot.

Eastman At Eastman, materials and innovation go hand-in-hand. The Eastman Innovation Lab is a website created for the savvy individual interested in design thinking and its impact on the future. It delivers the latest stories in material innovation by capturing the insights of the world’s greatest thinkers and pairing them with the experts of Eastman Chemical Co.Through storytelling and animation, the EIL brings industrial design, innovation, business collaboration and design thinking to life.

Keyshot KeyShot is an entirely CPU based standalone 3D rendering and animation system for 3D data. Used by designers, engineers and CG professionals worldwide, KeyShot allows you to quickly and easily create realistic images and animations of 3D models. And, just in time for summer, KeyShot 4 is available with powerful new features and the rendering speed you need.

Portfolio Review
Portfolio review

We're proud to host the portfolio review during the conference. Set up and show your best work, or if you're already established, stop by to meet and greet the next generation of designers. For 2013 we'll be awarding the a prize package for the best portfolio - details coming soon!

Design Jobs



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Posted by core jr  |   6 Sep 2013  |  Comments (3)


Text & images courtesy of Zach Kaplan / Inventables

This year at the IDSA International Conference, Inventables teamed up with Computer Aided Technologies, Stratasys, Models Plus and the 3D Printer Experience to hold a pinewood 3D-printed derby contest, Launch Day. Back in July, we made an open call to any designer in the world to create a car that used pinewood derby wheels, a ball bearing, and would be launched off of a ski jump style track. Entries would be judged on three criteria: best flight (farthest distance), best crash, and best looks. Each of these three winners would win an Up Mini 3D printer from Inventables.

Over 100 designers from all over the world submitted cars. It was difficult to narrow it down, but Paul Hatch, founder of TEAMS Design and conference chair, and I narrowed it down to the ten cars we thought would be most likely to win in each of these three categories. The cars were then printed by Stratasys, Computer Aided Technologies, Kalidescope and The 3D Printer Experience. Finally, Models Plus built the track that the cars would race down to their destruction.


With the ten cars printed and on display before the 1,000 designers who attended the conference, the excitement for the race was building. For those of you who missed it or attendees who want to relive the experience, we had six cameras capturing the action, including a slow motion camera to grab the crashes. Check it out:

See more on the event on the Inventables blog.

Posted by core jr  |  26 Aug 2013  |  Comments (0)


This past weekend was the occasion for the annual IDSA International Conference, the premier professional development and networking event for Industrial Designers practicing in the States... and, as Conference Chair Paul Hatch noted, increasingly from abroad as well. The ever-self-deprecating Founder of Teams Design MC'd the lecture sessions, as noted sketchnote-taker Craighton Berman busily filled several posterboards with his pithy yet expressive doodles. "It's been while since I have been to an industrial design-specific conference," he writes on his blog, "So it was interesting to step back into the industry conversation."

CraightonBerman-IDSA2013-Sketchnotes-1.jpgClick for full-size image

Friday morning started with Brooklyn-based Ben Hopson—who we'd recommended for gainful employment some years ago—who has established a niche in what he calls "kinetic design," which has traditionally been the domain of engineers (as opposed to designers, who define the formal language but not necessarily the moving parts). Leading with the example of the highly articulated output paper tray of a Canon printer, Hopson demonstrated how a designer might approach the problem precisely by applying his or her sketching skills in three dimensions in order to "make sure they look like how they move and move like how they look."

Origami is certainly a reference point, but the kinetic experiments (which Hopson teaches at Pratt) perhaps better construed as three-dimensional pop-up books. "Today, we are beginning to gesture at our artifacts," he noted. "And they will eventually begin to gesture at us." [Ed note: Hopson has also exploredtopic at length in an essay here on Core.]


Posted by core jr  |   1 Aug 2013  |  Comments (1)


The IDSA International Conference is just under three weeks away, and if you have yet to make plans to be in Chicago from August 21–24, we strongly suggest you do so ASAP. As always, the lineup of speakers is pretty stacked, and while we've crossed paths with many of this year's speakers over the years, the IDSA keeps it fresh with the likes of, say, Paralympian Blake Leeper. Similarly, we were interesed to see Dr. Vijay Kumar's name among the presenters. I'd been curious about his work ever since the first video on "A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors" hit the web over a year and a half ago—check it out:

The research, at UPenn's General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab (GRASP for short), has come a long way since then, but Dr. Kumar noted that there is still a long way to go. After spending a recent sabbatical at the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, he will continue his research in robotics—specifically, swarm dynamics. His recent TED Talk illustrates the latest developments in his research on aerial robo-collaboration:

Dr. Kumar promises to deliver a "more technical" presentation at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Thursday, August 22, where he'll share the latest developments on "Tiny Flying Robots":

There are a number of labs and schools across the globe that have been experimenting with autonomous quadrotors—small flying robots that communicate with each other. They have already accomplished a number of seemingly difficult tasks, like juggling balls or building a tower. Given the ability to hover and fly, sense objects and communicate, there are already a thousand creative tasks they could perform.

Conversely, Dr. Kumar has long rejected the common mischaracterization of UAVs as drones, and vice versa, echoing former Air Force Chief General Norton Schwartz's comment that these unmanned aircraft are, in fact, piloted. "This is one distinction that's quite sharp that I'd like to make: the drones that we hear about in the press are actually remotely-piloted vehicles; they're not drones, they're human-driven. So this is a misnomer, and the press really should not be using that [term to describe them]."


Once he had cleared the air (so to speak), Dr. Kumar proceeded to share his thoughts on the real-world applications of swarms of autonomous quadrotors.

Core77: This is a conference for industrial designers, but you are an engineer by training and trade. What lessons do you hope to impart on the design community?

Dr. Vijay Kumar: Design is a broad thing—I suspect that [Conference attendees] are primarily interested in designing physical things, and I think if there's one thing that's changed, design is no longer about the physical thing. Every physical thing has software embedded in it, [so now,] when you think about design, you want to consider co-designing the software piece and the hardware piece. Smartphones, for example, already incorporate a lot of that—thinking about the user interface—which is an important new direction.


Posted by Coroflot  |  29 Jul 2013

bean-at-sunrise.jpgChicago Bean Sunrise by Lara Images

Since we've already highlighted the Speaker Line-Up and the Program for the IDSA 2013 International Conference, not to mention the fact that attending is only way you'll get a chance to create a 3D Printed Flying Car, is there much else we need to say that will motivate you to register for this amazing event?

How about this - If you haven't registered yet, your chance to take advantage of the late registration prices ends on August 11th.

Once the late registration period ends, you'll still be able to sign up on-site or via phone, but the price to attend jumps another $50 to $100, depending on whether or not you're an IDSA Member. If you like saving money, and want to benefit from all these reasons to attend, don't wait. Register today!

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  24 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)


A paper airplane flying contest might have cut it at some engineering conference in the 1950s, but the upcoming 2013 IDSA conference will be holding something considerably more exciting. Come August 24th in Chicago, ten 3D-printed cars will be launched down a model of a ski jump, and the car's resultant flight (and the spectacle-worthiness of its crash) will be judged for excellence.

Whose ten 3D-printed cars, you ask? Maybe yours. The Launch Day 2013 competition is open to all comers, provided you get your 3D-printed design in by August 12th. That initial batch will be judged for both aesthetics and for "using unique attributes of 3D printing," winnowing the field down to ten. The final ten will then be printed, then launched on the final day of the conference, and whomever's design is judged the winner will take home a brand-new 3D printer. (Runners-up will get $100 gift cards from competition sponsor Inventables.)

There's no cost to enter, and each entrant can submit up to five designs. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Which means yep, there's a catch: You've gotta be in it to win it. Specifically, inside the conference center in Chicago, as only registered attendees are eligible to win.

Click here to get details on the build envelope and printer selection for entries.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Jul 2013  |  Comments (5)


Picking our Gold faves for the 2013 IDSA International Design Excellence Awards is never easy. This year we dug the ERO Concrete Recycling Robot, LittleBits' modular electronic building blocks, Evotech and IDEO's low-cost endoscope, and the SpareOne emergency cell phone. And now that we've picked out some socially important, ecologically-responsible, educational, life-saving and life-supporting designs, we've got to let ourselves pick one that is just cool for the sake of being cool. Thus we present the da caster, designed by Mitsunobu Hozumi of hozmi design and Ryo Shimizu of SIMIZ Technik, which won Gold in the Living Room & Bedroom category.


It's not going to save any lives. It's not going to change yours. And your less observant guests won't even notice it unless you make them crawl around on the floor. But darn if it ain't cool-looking. The da caster, manufactured by Japan's Hammer Caster Co. in a couple of different sizes, is simply a hubless wheel. No axle, and not even any bearings.

The concept behind da caster is to smoothly harmonize with the design of furniture or fittings while maintaining a distinct presence as a caster. Rather than a ball-bearing configuration with an axle and bearing, the basic structure of a conventional caster, the da caster is characterized by a sliding configuration that does not use an axle or bearing. The da caster structure comprises an aluminum shell, a roller and an internal ring made of a special resin. This composition results in a ring-shaped wheel with a central hole a hubless caster that possesses sufficient strength and solidity yet seems to float.


2013 IDSA IDEA Winners, Our Gold Faves
» Omer Haciomeroglu's ERO Concrete Recycling Robot
» littleBits Teach Kids to Build Electronics
» Evotech and IDEO.org's Low-Cost Endoscope
» The SpareOne Emergency Cell Phone Gets 15 Years Out of a Single AA Battery
» The Hubless Da Caster

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Jul 2013  |  Comments (2)


Although the waterspout photos were a new one for us, we've become aware of natural disasters in a way that would have been impossible twenty years ago, now that everyone with a cell phone camera is a de facto AP photographer. But there are plenty of disasters we have yet to see the inside of, because in the worst situations, your cell phone may have no juice, and you may be more worried about contacting emergency services than Instagramming a tornado.

It's for that scenario that Alan Cymberknoh of SpareOne XPAL Power designed their titular SpareOne emergency cell phone. Although we took note when it first launched, it recently won Gold in the 2013 IDEA Communication Tools category. A "game-changing preparedeness device," the SpareOne will always have power, provided you keep one commonplace object handy: A single AA battery.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Jul 2013  |  Comments (1)


Of all the branches of industrial design that one could pursue, the design of medical devices is arguably the most important to society—and the least sexy-sounding. Automotive design probably wins the Most Sexy title, at least in the eyes of your average starry-eyed design student, so it's ironic that medical design gets short shrift, in that the price points of the finished products can easily keep pace with automobiles. A high-end endoscope, for example, doesn't sound like much more than a glorified camera—but they can set a hospital back some 70 grand.

That means endoscopes are developed-nation-only devices, despite their universally lifesaving potential. But a company called Evotech, which is dedicated to "[designing] medical devices for the bottom of the pyramid," wants to change that. In partnership with IDEO.org, they won Gold in the Social Impact Design category of the 2013 IDEA program for their low-cost endoscope. "Using frugal innovation techniques," Evotech writes, "we developed a light, portable endoscopy prototype for a fraction of the price of existing solutions."


Evotech and [IDEO.org] redesigned the Low-Cost Portable Endoscope with off-the-shelf parts as a $250-$2,500 device powered by a laptop, making the endoscope smaller, portable, energy efficient, durable, waterproof and with the ability to manufacture at scale.
The challenge was to improve the device's industrial design and develop a business model that would sustain it—and get the device to doctors whose patients would benefit from its use. With regard to the device's design, the endoscope needed to enable doctors to make more precise diagnoses and to perform surgeries through a small incision, reducing patients' risk of infection and recovery time. The endoscope also had to have the ability to be sterilized.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)


Building blocks taught children to stack things. Legos teach kids to build objects systematically. Now a company called littleBits wants to push building blocks to the next level by integrating electronics, teaching children that they can achieve more sophisticated results by combining a series of predetermined components with specific technological functions. And they're easy to snap together, via magnets that prevent incorrect connections.


Designed by Ayah Bdeir (whom we interviewed earlier this year during a littleBits/MoMA team-up), Paul Rothman and Jordi Borras, littleBits won Gold in the 2013 IDEA Awards in the Leisure & Recreation category. Writes the littleBits team,

Electronics are everywhere. People now produce, consume and throw out more electronic gadgets and technology-enhanced products than ever before. Yet, engineering is mysticized, electronic objects are black-boxed, and the creativity of today's designer is limited by the tools and materials available to them. With the democratization of technology and the DIY revolution gaining more momentum, creativity with electronics will explode when they can be used as (and combined with) other materials.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  10 Jul 2013  |  Comments (6)


There's a reason demolitionists use explosive charges to take buildings down: Abject destruction is a relatively quick way to dismantle rebar-reinforced concrete. But boy does it create one helluva mess to clean up:

Smaller-scale demolition techniques require massive machinery to pulverize buildings chunk by chunk, while workers spray the destruction with a steady stream of water to keep the dust down. The resultant mess is then carted off, load by load, to landfill or a recycling center tasked with the difficult chore of separating metal rebar from the concrete fragments.

Look no further than the 2013 IDEA Winners for a better building demolition concept.


Omer Haciomeroglu, from Sweden's Umea Institute of Design, won Gold in the Student Designs category for his ERO Concrete Recycling Robot. Haciomeroglu's excellent concept not only takes buildings down in an energy-efficient way, but it systematically recycles as it goes along. "In order to overcome later separation and ease the transport of materials," writes Haciomeroglu, "the process had to start with separation on the spot. It was a challenge to switch from brutal pulverizing to smart deconstruction."



Posted by core jr  |   1 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)

chicago-sunrise-HDR-crop.pngChicago sunrise skyline: Mile 6 by Jeffrey Barry

Remember how excited you were when you saw the Speaker line-up for the 2013 IDSA International Conference? And what about how the Program Schedule led you to cancel a couple of existing plans between August 21st and 24th?

If you're looking forward to attending the conference to soak up all the rule-breaking, game-changing goodness it has to offer, but haven't gotten around to registering yet, now is the time to do it! Regular registration for this must-attend event is ending in just 20 days, or July 20th, to be more specific. After that day, prices start to rise, along with a gentle feeling of regret you may get for not signing up earlier.

For those of you who are new to the IDSA Conference and Organization, signing up to become an IDSA Member when you register for the conference saves you $500 instantly and gives you all the benefits of membership. How's that for a win-win?

All the information you need about registering and attending the conference can be found here on the IDSA Conference website. Now that you have all the reasons to register and no more excuses, what are you waiting for?

Posted by core jr  |  10 Jun 2013  |  Comments (0)

chicago-sunset-crop.pngThe Still City - Chicago © Jason Denning

Starting on August 21st, IDSA's 2013 International Conference kicks off and you are officially invited to Break The Rules! You only have one more week to take advantage of their early registration prices and save anywhere from $50 to over $100 to attend this system-shaking event.

We at Core77 have been working with IDSA for many years and are always proud to support their efforts and sponsor great events like this one. This year's Annual International Conference, including one day of exciting Unconference action, is coming to one of our favorite cities - Chicago; home of the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside the Louvre in Paris, and the original Mr. Beef! Beyond the outstanding line up of speakers and topics, we look forward to throwing our annual party, co-sponsored by Keyshot and Formity this year.

To add to all the excitement, we're sponsoring the IDSA Portfolio Review again, except this year, we're adding a twist to it that we can't reveal just yet, but will definitely get you excited to participate. (Stay tuned for more details on that.)

Now that you know more about the 2013 International Conference, register right now to take advantage of the early bird prices and big savings on everything this event has to offer.

Posted by StuCon  |  25 Apr 2013  |  Comments (1)


It has been only a few short months since Core77 and IDSA officially joined forces in our new strategic partnership, but members from both organizations can now enjoy one of the first fruits of their new relationship. We are very pleased to unveil the IDSA Job Board as the latest addition to the growing Coroflot Design Employment Network.

IDSA is the flagship organization of our industry, so their new job board is a huge step forward in providing the most comprehensive job search and employment resources for employers and working industrial designers. We are excited to be reaching a greater audience and serving them the most relevant job listings in the industry.

Take a moment to check out the new job board here and discover all the opportunities it has to offer.

Posted by core jr  |   3 Apr 2013  |  Comments (0)

IDSA District Conferences

What better way to celebrate the coming of spring than with a series of events that examine the impact of design on business and society? The 2013 IDSA District Design Conferences kick off this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, and continue over the next two weekends in four additional cities across the States. Whether you happen to live in Cleveland, Long Beach, Indianapolis or Hartford or the unique opportunity for professional development happens to be the next state over, make a point of making the trip.

Make sure you register for the conference you want to attend the most as spots will fill up fast, and each conference offers a different focus. This year's themes range from color theory to entrepreneurship, and designers from each and every region can look forward to valuable insights and in-depth design discussion over the course of each two-day conference. Find more details on the schedule and each of the conferences here.

Posted by StuCon  |  25 Feb 2013  |  Comments (4)


It's not every day two organizations come together to create something even greater than the sum of their parts. It is with great excitement that we announce a strategic partnership between Core77 and the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Over the coming year Core77 and IDSA will work together to mutually promote programming offered by both sides to our respective audiences. In keeping with tradition, Core77 will host the portfolio review and a social event at the annual IDSA International Conference (taking place this year in Chicago, from August 20-23). Core77 will implement a new job board at the IDSA web site, welcoming IDSA as a partner into the Coroflot Job Network.

IDSA is the voice of the industrial design profession, advancing the quality and positive impact of design, so a partnership with Core77 is a natural fit. "An official collaboration between our organizations makes perfect sense," said Stuart Constantine, cofounder of Core77. "Our motives are well aligned and we are both committed to providing the broader design community with unparalleled professional and creative opportunities."

"While IDSA and Core77 have been cooperating informally for several years, we are happy to have a formal agreement in place to share job board postings and promotion of events that will bring value to designers and the design world," said George McCain, IDSA's chairman of the board. "IDSA has the utmost admiration for the online community that Core77 has built and is honored to become an integral part of it."

Also, if you haven't done so already, there's still time to enter your best work in the 2013 IDEA awards. The final deadline is tonight (Monday Feb 25) so stop procrastinating and get your entry in now!

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   4 Jan 2013  |  Comments (0)


The search is over, and the ISDA has found their new skipper: Starting today, Daniel Martinage takes over as the new Executive Director.

Martinage is what's known as a CAE, or Certified Association Executive, and a man with a reputation for getting organizations focused and on-track. Martinage's expertise lies in executive coaching and strategic planning, and he has over 30 years' worth of experience in the field, as well as having founded Association Coach LLC, a consulting company specializing in professional societies.

A professionally trained executive coach and facilitator, Martinage was the founder and principal of Association Coach LLC, an executive coaching and consulting firm that specialized in maximizing personal and organizational performance. Through his company he worked with more than 90 trade groups and professional societies. His insights on the coaching profession have been featured in dozens of news media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Business Week, Money Magazine and Woman's World Magazine.

Martinage serves on the faculty for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and as a reviewer and judge for "The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management." He holds a master's in science, technology and public policy and a bachelor's in political science and speech communication from The George Washington University. Since 1987 he has held the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation.

"IDSA is excited to welcome Daniel to the design community," said George McCain, chairman of IDSA's board of directors. "His training and experience will be key as we continue to expand our influence and global reach. Additionally, Daniel's proven leadership and communication skills will be invaluable in getting the message of design's benefits to business, educators and the community."