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April 07-10 : MidWest
April 08-09 : NorthEast
April 08-09 : Western
April 08-10 : Southern

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Parting words
Tuesday, Apr 12 2 08 PM : Western Conference | Zeitgeist


Overall this was one of the best IDSA district conferences that I have attended over the years. Certainly Vancouver is a beatiful city in which to spend a couple of days thinking about design. What made this conference distinctive is the focus and passion surrounding the topic, Enduring Design.

The Pacific Northwest loves "sustainability" (about as much as coffee and cheap sushi) and this conviction was evident in the list of presenters that it put to the podium. Usually at these things the speakers try and stick the conference theme somewhere in the title of their talk or work it in to their introduction. Rarely is it the backbone of their presentation.

At the IDSA-West this year we did not witness the tired parade of presenters who merely talk about their own or their studio's work. While these are occasionally interesting, or interesting in moderation, such "portfolio presentations" usually have the icky feel of a lightly veiled studio infomercial. The presenter often comes off as a design braggadocio with the an inflated sense of global importance (let's keep that you "revolutionized" the field of kitchen mops in perspective).

Conference organizer and Wesstern District VP, Dedre Toker was able to organize many leaders in the design sustainability field for this one-and-a-half-day gathering. Evidence of this was in the unusually high number of educators who spoke; yet, certainly the voice of enlightened practitioners was quite welcome. Indeed they have a more difficult task of meeting the seemingly irreconcilable demands of sustainability with corporate appetites, which nearly demand un-enduring design to produce enticing quarterly profits reports.

Thanks to the speakers, conference organizers, Emily Carr Institute, and passionate attendees for their efforts and attention to this topic. Let's hope that the spirit of the debate and the importance of the big picture endure.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (0)
Supporting the students
Tuesday, Apr 12 1 30 PM : People


Leslie Speer, professor at California College of the Arts, was on hand to support their student merit award winner, Adam Reineck.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, Apr 12 1 22 PM : People


Arunus Oslapas, professor at Western Washington University, was on hand to support his merit award winner, Olen Ronning.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (0)
And more style
Tuesday, Apr 12 1 17 PM : Western Conference


Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (1)
Checking things out
Tuesday, Apr 12 1 14 PM : People


Another fashionable conference goer.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (1)
El Presidente
Tuesday, Apr 12 1 09 PM : People | Western Conference


The Western conference had the good fortune of attracting Ron Kemnitzer, newly elected IDSA President and Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Ron was on the chicken-and-egg debate panel of whether design education should lead or follow design practice. As both a long time practitioner and educator, he had the final word in stating that a adversarial relationship does neither much good. Instead we all must actively work to forge relationships that will have long-term benefits for our discipline.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, Apr 12 12 56 PM : People | Speakers | Western Conference


Prasad Boradkar, professor at Arizona State, reflecting on the conference.

Prasad often speaks at the IDSA National Education Conferences and if you get a chance you should check out his papers at www.idsa.org (look under "resources" ; "for students and educators").

His work is intelligent, insightful and draws from western social theory and criticism.

This is one that he presented about the iPod.

Posted by: Bruce Tharp | Permalink | Comments (0)
Western Merit Presentations
Tuesday, Apr 12 11 52 AM : Western Conference


Here are a few pictures of the merit presentions from Saturday night (not all inclusive, i'm afraid).

The Merit Award winners from the western district schools were:
Beau Oyler (Academy of Art University)
Randy Jackson (Arizona State University)
Nate Lau (Art Center College of Design)
Aaron Nelson (Brigham Young University)
Adam Reineck (California College of the Arts)
Rommell Hingco (California State University Long Beach)
Kevin Clark (Metropolitan State College)
Chris Morlock (San Francisco State University)
Angie Kim (San Jose State University)
Olen Ronning (Western Washington University)

The western representative to the national will be Nate Lau from Art Center. Congrats, Nate!

Posted by: Stephanie Munson | Permalink | Comments (0)
Scott Robertson Presents Renderings
Tuesday, Apr 12 11 41 AM : Speakers | Western Conference


In catching up on some of the final presentations, here are a few presentation shots from Scott Robertson's Saturday presentation in Vancouver entitled "ID Presentation Tips and a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Design Studio Press Books".

Scott presented some kick-ass renderings from photoshop that are the subject(s) for a handful of his books and dvds. In particular, he showed us renderings and process sketches form "The Skillful Huntsman", "Concept Design I", and "Concept Design II"

The presentation here felt a bit like an infomercial to buy his products (books, dvds, workshops), but it totally worked on me as the quality of the work was quite awesome. He and his Art-Center-days colleagues can certainly impress.

Check out some of his eye candy (his words, not mine) and info on how to obtain his products through:

Posted by: Stephanie Munson | Permalink | Comments (0)
Budd Discusses New Technologies
Tuesday, Apr 12 11 40 AM : Western Conference


Jim Budd, Associate Professor of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, presented a talk on Saturday afternoon entitled "To Pass the Test of Time: Applications of New Technologies May Necessitate New Design Processes".

He begun by showing us aibo, Sony's electronic 'pet', as a sample look at new technologies and their impact on product design. He discussed "a hybrid design process for the design of intelligent interactive products, systems and services which shifts the focus from the role of technology itself to the validation of human experience as the central issue in the design process."

In looking to the future of design, Budd proposed that it will be increasingly important to develop:
- teamwork in the design process
- knowledge of new technologies
- prototypes that illustrate interactive behavior
- field testing of electronic prototypes (validation of concept)
- resources to document findings

Posted by: Stephanie Munson | Permalink | Comments (0)
IDSA Powerhouse people
Tuesday, Apr 12 12 21 AM : People | Southern Conference


Top dogs Ty Rarick, Tim Fletcher, and Brian Roderman ham it up at the Saturday night festivities.

Posted by: Mardis Bagley | Permalink | Comments (0)
Georga Tech on Beale
Tuesday, Apr 12 12 16 AM : Parties | Southern Conference


Georgia Tech hit IDSA Memphis with 63 students and a clear determination to make themselves known! At night they hit Beale Street with clearly blurred vision... gatech-beale2.jpg
University of Houston meets Georgia Tech.
More Georgia Techies representin.

Posted by: Mardis Bagley | Permalink | Comments (0)
Georga Tech Boothy
Monday, Apr 11 11 54 PM : Southern Conference


Props out to the Georgia Tech students for putting together an awesome booth this year. They included a display for prototypes, sketches, their personal designer trading cards and mini portfolios to thumb through. Dont forget the classy hardwood floor with imbedded Studio 104. Sweet.


Student designer trading cards, shown in an acrylic display case, featured a portrait on one side and designer stats on the other side. The stats side included the contents of that designer's desk(top)... or a part of their body... hmmm...

Posted by: Mardis Bagley | Permalink | Comments (0)
Inspirations Everywhere
Monday, Apr 11 1 22 AM : Midwest Conference | Portfolios


Suzzannah Johannes from University of Kansas showed this piece in her student Merit award presentation and it was the most artistic design piece I'd seen in a while. It's a two dimensional victorian furniture leg printed between two pieces of glass. I can't wait to see her work when she gets picked up by Droog Design.

This was one of the best conferences I'd attended, because of inspirations like this. I also met some kick-ass creatives at this thing from the speakers and professionals to students from UIUC, UW Stout, U of Kansas, y'all inspired me. I wonder how often people contact each other after conferences... I hope fairly often. Well, if any of you that I hung out with are ever in Chicago or live here, look me up, and I'll take you out to some good eats. You know my email.

This is Ko.
Over and out.

Posted by: Ko | Permalink | Comments (1)
Light 'em Up
Monday, Apr 11 1 04 AM : Midwest Conference | Portfolios




This is some work by seniors at UIUC. It was exhibited at a small gallery near their studio. The designs are by Matthew Vroom, Greg McNamara, Matthew Whitlock(shown here), and Brandon Parod. Beautiful stuff, most of the pieces were found materials manipulated to have the desired lighted effect.

Posted by: Ko | Permalink | Comments (2)
Keep 'em Coming Back For More
Monday, Apr 11 12 38 AM : Southern Conference | Zeitgeist


I'm putting out a challenge to the other District Conferences. Prove to me that your raffle is bigger and badder than the Southern District. These guys gave away some serious booty. Thanks to donated prizes from generous companies like Hunter Fan, Ryobi, Motorola, Bolt, and Eastman, everyone had a good chance of walking away with some sweet schwag.

I even got in on the action and walked away with a Ridgid Random Orbital Sander with a retail value of $180! I think I'll put it on my mantle for all to see...but first, I'll have to get a mantle.

Posted by: Nate Lynch | Permalink | Comments (5)
Everything's Bigger in Memphis?
Monday, Apr 11 12 27 AM : Southern Conference | Zeitgeist



Posted by: Nate Lynch | Permalink | Comments (1)
I Heart Midwest
Monday, Apr 11 12 26 AM : Midwest Conference | Zeitgeist


These are the people that made it happen. The organizers for the conference included two students from University of Illinois Urbana Chamapign, Professors, and IDSA Professionals.

Posted by: Ko | Permalink | Comments (2)
Blame it on Beale Street
Monday, Apr 11 12 22 AM : Southern Conference | Zeitgeist




By Sunday morning, everyone was blaming Beale Street for missing the 7am portfolio review sessions, slurred speech, and constant nodding off during presentations. Even a few of the speakers acknowledged having a bit of trouble getting the right words to flow. Here's a few snapshots of a really long street, large groups of people, long lines, and late nights...

Posted by: Nate Lynch | Permalink | Comments (0)
Southern Merit Award Winners
Monday, Apr 11 12 07 AM : People | Southern Conference


These students, pictured with 2 Southern District Reps, showed off their version of Southern hospitality by sharing their award winning work over dinner and cocktails. From left to right:

Andy Loewy - IDSA Southern District Education Rep
Michael Hesterberg - North Carolina State University
Renaldo Alonso - Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Kurt Rampton - Georgia Tech
Tom Murray - Auburn
Brooks Vaughan - University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Ty Rarick - IDSA Southern District VP

CONGRATULATIONS to Kurt Rampton, who will be headed to the IDSA National Conference representing the Southern District!

Posted by: Nate Lynch | Permalink | Comments (1)


Carl Alviani
Mardis Bagley
Craig Berman
Kris Krug
Donald Lehman
Nate Lynch
Stephanie Munson
Holly Taylor
Bruce Tharp
Yianni Yessios