"Design now has the power and gravitas to affect real change," says IDSA Board of Directors Chair John Barratt, president and CEO of legendary design consultancy TEAGUE. "Industrial design matters as an important part of a much larger ecosystem that's capable of having a profound impact on people's lives."
March 5, 2015 was entered into the US Congressional Record as the first National Industrial Design Day when U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly declared that industrial designers "improve our lives in every way and are worthy of our recognition." The day marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of IDSA, which is headquartered in Herndon, VA, in Connolly's 11th Congressional District just outside Washington, D.C.
A year later at his Capitol Hill office, Connolly is being honored with the IDSA Special Award, which recognizes organizations and individuals for notable results; relative and innovative concepts; and long-term benefits to the industrial design profession, its education function and society at large. Connolly commends IDSA "for being an instrumental force in the growth and expansion" of industrial design.
In the United States, product design and related services generate billions of dollars in sales and the number of U.S.-awarded design patents has reached an all-time high. "The economic impact of this industry helps fuel our nation's economy," says Connolly.
Industrial designers envision the products that fill homes, offices, hospitals, schools and roads—and serve diverse fields ranging from the environment to entertainment; from social impact to service; from communication to recreation. They work in tandem with engineering, manufacturing, marketing and management leaders to create countless innovations used every day such as computers, mobile phones, music players, appliances, GPS, furniture, child safety seats and surgical equipment.
The U.S. Patent Office first recognized the term "industrial design" in 1913. The profession attracted the attention of the American public in 1927 at the Exposition of Art in Trade in New York City, with the U.S. government hailing the craft as an important "modern movement."
IDSA has grown from 600 members in 1950—to thousands of members in more than two dozen countries today. The Society sponsors the annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) (#IDSAIDEA)—the world's most prestigious and rigorous design competition—which is open for entry this year through April 1. Gold and Silver winners will be unveiled on August 17, 2016 in a ceremony and gala at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
Annually, IDSA hosts an International Design Conference (#IDSADetroit16), set this year from August 17 to 20 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center; five coast-to-coast District Design Conferences (#CDDC16 #WDDC16 #SDDC16 #MWDDC16 #NEDDC16) in April; and a Medical Design Conference—bringing together some of the biggest names and brightest minds in industrial design and related fields. IDSA also publishes INNOVATION magazine online and in print. The latest issue, 50.35.50, features 50 Notable IDSA Members; 35 Years of IDEA Winners; and 50 Memorable Moments in IDSA History. IDSA Ambassadors and INsights support industrial design with research, thought leadership and outreach.
Founded in 1965, the nonprofit Industrial Designers Society of America is one of the oldest and largest membership associations for industrial design professionals.
IDSA has thousands of professional and student members across the United States and internationally. We support dozens of localized Student Chapters, Professional Chapters and Special Interest Sections.
Key annual programs include: International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), the world’s most prestigious and rigorous design competition. National Industrial Design Day, March 5. International Design Conference, District Design Conferences, Medical Design Conference and the Women + Design Summit, bringing together some of the biggest names and brightest minds in industrial design and related fields.
INNOVATION magazine and the annual Yearbook of Design Excellence, featuring IDEA, IDSA Award and Student Merit Award winners are distributed around the world and serve as a center point for Industrial Design information, thought leadership and celebration of design excellence.