Discovering the diverse power of design

Design has the ability to change our world. At the 2019 Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) International Design Conference (IDC), we were inspired by bold designers and state-of-the-art products that are moving the needle. We sponsored this year’s conference, held August 21-23 in Chicago, and celebrated the diversity and power of design.

While in the Windy City, we were blown away by the presenters and their dialogue around how they are challenging the status quo and breaking down barriers. Here’s a recap of the conversations that stood out:

  • How does your vehicle interact with your daily life? Sebastian Gier, senior designer, strategic design and user experience for BMW Design Group, urged attendees to consider human-centered design in autonomous vehicles and future mobility.
  • Yoojin Hong, vice president of user experience at Samsung, discussed how foldable displays are inevitable in future mobile devices and shared how to design for optimal accessibility. She encouraged attendees not to be afraid or limit themselves—there is always a way.
  • Designers should continue to keep sustainability at the forefront. According to Chris Jackson, founder and director of We Create Futures, any vision of the future that doesn’t include the environment should be tossed in the trash bin.
  • What is it about design that adds charisma to the mix? Brett Lovelady, founder and CEO of ASTRO Studios, shared humanizing principles for artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Marcelle van Beusekom, design director of IDEO, introduced the audience to a reimagined Swarovski chandelier incorporating LED technology with very compact dimensions.
  • J Mays, vice president of global design and chief design officer at Whirlpool, wrapped up the conference by talking about the emotion within design. He also discussed how craftsmanship is a culture and is part of everyone’s job.
At the 2019 IDSA IDC, we were inspired by bold designers and state-of-the-art products that are moving the needle.

Immediately prior to the conference, designers from around the world were recognized for their innovations in automotive, furniture, healthcare and more at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). These awards set the standard for what a design award represents and has become a career-defining catalyst for the winners. While there are many winning designs to celebrate, below are a few that caught our eye.

  • Ion Endoluminal System (Gold, Medical & Health): This robotic platform for minimally invasive biopsies deep in the peripheral lung was also awarded Best of Show.
  • USee (Gold, Social Impact Design): The ~2.5 billion people around the world who have vision issues—especially those in developing areas—can find relief with these vision screening and prescription glasses.
  • Spinamic (Gold, Medical & Health): Standard scoliosis braces can be painful and patients don’t like using them. Using lighter and more comfortable materials such as neoprene, mesh and Velcro, this scoliosis therapy combines revolutionary form factors with connectivity to maximize patient adherence.
  • LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R9 (Gold, Consumer Technology): This design means new possibilities for TVs—giving users control of their living space by allowing them to hide the TV screen when it’s not in use.

Check out all of the 2019 winners here.

While at IDC, we also took attendees on a road trip to the future through the Covestro Future of Mobility Virtual Reality (VR) experience, sharing how materials can fuel these innovations.

We enjoyed connecting with IDC attendees and look forward to cultivating new relationships with designers around the world!

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