With the conference tomorrow, all of the Rhode Island School of Design’s campus is bustling with both old and new friends stopping by the studio to give impromptu lectures and check out what is going on in studio. Such was the case today when Colin Kelly, Erica Eden, and Nathaniel Giraitis gave a lecture over lunch on the People and Process of Smart Design.
With three days to go before the conference, the question “What do YOU design for?” is more pertinent than ever and my conversations with designers throughout the country are just getting started. The theme of the Northeast District Conference to be held at the Rhode Island School of Design this Friday and Saturday, What do you design for? asks designers to truly question why it is they wake up each morning and what motivates them to make, create, invent, and do what they want.
On the first day of the IDSA Northeast District Conference, there will be a variety of workshops covering topics from rendering to career storytelling. One of these workshops is titled Opportunities for Sustainability and is appropriately taught by none other than Matt Grigsby, principal of Ecolect.
It is difficult to have a conversation with someone on what they design for without discovering their personal story and what brought them to design in the first place. For Annie Wu, an undergraduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, that was a sharp diversion from a meticulously planned out pre-med route and a thorough background in science.
For William Harris, a typical design challenge entails creating a phototherapy device to treat jaundice in rural Vietnam to developing a body worn hearing device for children, costing around $30 lower than current technology. A fresh graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design, Harris (BFA ID ’10) works for Design that Matters, a nonprofit design firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Continuing to speak with students, teachers, and designers, I posed the question, “What do you design for?” to undergraduate student Evan Brooks. A sophomore majoring in Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, Brooks replied with the following response.
I recently spoke to Kristin Simoens and Margaux Boyaval from Ximedica about their upcoming IDSA NED topic, Redefining Patient Safety and Hospital Workflow with Human-Centered Solutions.
If you think that title sounds intense then I'm pretty sure you're right! Their presentation will be focusing on the new role of designers in the healthcare field and how we can use our skills to make a difference.
As the Design4 Conference draws closer, the conversation of “what do you Design4?” is one that I have been having with a variety of designers around the country. From creating a system for transporting clean water in third world countries, to solving more local challenges such as humanizing products in the U.S., people design for a variety of reasons. This past week, I spoke with Rob Brady of ROBRADY design on what he designs for.