Industrial designers hold a pivotal role in ensuring a sustainable future, given that they develop billions of products and services used around the world. A new virtual event from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is built to address this responsibility and provide designers with actionable tools to achieve a strong triple bottom line, factoring in people, planet, and profit.
IDSA's Sustainability Deep Dive is an immersive online experience spanning three days, June 3-5, 2020. The event will include expert presentations and information-packed sessions focused on a different theme each day: Sustainable Strategy on Day 1, Sustainable Process on Day 2, and Sustainable Product Experience on Day 3.
The event's co-emcees are Debera Johnson, IDSA, professor at Pratt Institute and Executive Director of the Pratt Design Incubator, and Stephan Clambaneva, IDSA, innovation consultant and Sections Director on IDSA's Board of Directors.
"Designers who are knowledgeable about sustainable practices are essential and sought after," Johnson says. "Sustainability comes at you like a tidal wave. It adds tremendous complexity to the decision-making process. This knowledge adds a unique aspect to one's skill set."
Instilling this knowledge during the Deep Dive are many high-profile speakers, including Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, who is perhaps most famous for the design of OXO's "Good Grips" universal kitchen tools, and Lorraine Justice, PhD, FIDSA, industrial design professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and author of The Future of Design.
"In our inaugural event, IDSA is defining a roadmap for industrial designers and the creative community at large," says Clambaneva. "This is not a one-off event. We plan to continue to drive environmental awareness, sustainability, and circularity best practices until they become ubiquitous across all 50 states and around the world."
Speaker sessions will focus on designing for a regenerative future; the evolving role of the industrial designer when sustainability is at the center of the design brief; and how reusable packaging is set to revolutionize the consumer experience, among other topics.
Jay C. Peters, managing director of Grow USA and consultant to companies ranging from LEGO to Unilever, will talk about how to maximize value with a sustainable business model. A presentation from Liz Whiteley, director of membership for Patagonia's 1% for the Planet business alliance, will center on sustainability through environmental philanthropy.
Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Sustainable Design Lead at Nike, will share about his development of the groundbreaking, low CO2e Nike Space Hippie footwear line, and the "optimistic urgency" required for such an endeavor.
Nike Space Hippie footwear. Photo credit: Nike
"Since the beginning of the industrial age, we have focused on profitmaking," says Johnson. "It's how we have judged success. But this is changing. Brands need to stand for something good. Now is the time to foster sustainability as a success story."
The Sustainability Deep Dive is designed for this purpose: to give designers and business managers the knowledge they need to immediately make a difference in their organizations, and to achieve real success that is as good for the planet as it is for people and profit margins.
"It's critical that designers, project managers, and senior management are all well-versed in the integration of sustainability into strategic thinking through production and distribution," Johnson continues. "The dialogue needs to be embedded and supported throughout the organization, from the boardroom on down. The Sustainability Deep Dive will give designers the language, tools, and stories they need to be effective leaders."
By framing out crucial strategies, digging into processes and materials, and providing stories that will help attendees navigate their own complex journeys, the Sustainability Deep Dive is a community event that is, for many reasons, more important now than ever.
"This gathering will identify and nurture a network that can support progress," Johnson notes. "Sustainability is not something we can accomplish alone."
Learn more about IDSA's Sustainability Deep Dive here and make sure to register today. If your organization is interested in supporting this event, please inquire here.