Chairman George McCain, FIDSA
This past October I had the honor, and pleasure, of representing IDSA as a delegate at the Icsid general assembly in Taipei. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) meets every two years to enact legislation, ratify various initiatives and elect members to the board of directors.
Icsid has 174 member entities from over 50 countries. Icsid has no individual memberships, but is made up of corporations, schools, promotional organizations and professional organizations, such as IDSA. An executive board consisting of 11 members governs Icsid. I am very proud to report that our own Michelle Berryman, chair emeritus, FIDSA, was elected to her second two-year board term. Additionally, Bruce Claxton, FIDSA, another IDSA chair emeritus, was elected to the board for the first time. The president-elect for Icsid, Brandon Gien, I/IDSA, from Australia, is also a member of IDSA, which gives us three members on the 11 person executive board.
The charter of Icsid is to “advance the discipline of industrial design at an international level. To do this, Icsid undertakes a number of initiatives of global appeal to support the effectiveness of industrial design in an attempt to address the needs and aspirations of people around the world, to improve the quality of life, as well as help to improve the economy of nations throughout the world.”
Projects supported by Icsid include the World Design Capital program, World Industrial Design Day and World Design Impact Prize. Helsinki is the 2012 World Design Capital and, on the last day of the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress, Cape Town, South Africa was named as the World Design Capital for 2014.
There are seven finalists for the World Design Impact Prize, with two of them from the US. The Art Center College of Design nominated the Nokero N2000 Solar Light Bulb and IDSA nominated Bahikhaata, a financial literacy tool for the empowerment of women, to be used by NGOs in India. On Feb. 2, 2012, Icsid will announce the winner of the World Design Impact Prize.
Just prior to the Icsid general assembly meetings, was the IDA Congress. Formed in 2008, IDA is an alliance of three design discipline’s international associations: Icsid (industrial design), Icograda (communication design) and IFI (interior architecture/design). The 2011 Taipei IDA Congress, Design at the Edges, was the inaugural meeting of the alliance and Taipei and the government of Taiwan rolled out the red carpet to celebrate. The opening address was by none other than the vice president of Taiwan, Vincent C. Siew. Obviously, Taiwan places great importance on the strategic value of design for the economy of their country. The opening keynote presentation was by the former prime minister of Finland, Esko Aho.
Attendance was over 3,000, made up of designers from over 47 countries. Since IDA encompasses three distinct disciplines, the proceedings were very eclectic with keynote speakers from many diverse fields. The five tracks covered in the plenary sessions included Health/Environment (Biotechnology), Humanity/Society (Urbanism), Technology (The Internet), Business (Economic Development) and Civil Society (International Migration). These were followed by smaller afternoon breakout sessions for more in-depth, focused interchanges, such as interactive design salons, regional reports, professional practice sessions, opportunities for exchange between young designers and an academic track of refereed papers.
Each of the three evenings involved fabulous theme parties organized by the Taipei government. The first evening was the welcome party at the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center, a white linen outdoor dinner for over 3,000 people complete with an all woman Chinese rock band and wrapped up with a mesmerizing Chinese percussion group performance at the National Concert Hall.
The second evening was another outdoor food extravaganza and a tour of the National Palace Museum, a museum that contains most of the important art treasures of China.
The final evening’s dinner was held at the EXPO Dome, the site of the 2011 Taipei International Design Expo, a parallel event that was organized by the Taiwan Design Center.
Go here for more in-depth information on the 2011 IDA conference.
To sum up the experience of an IDA Congress – it was a wonderful cultural event wrapped around an outstanding exchange of ideas, information, challenges and inspiration for anyone involved in the quest to make the world a better place through the impact of design.
If you want to immerse yourself in a similar cultural, design rich, inspiring experience, the next IDA Congress will be held from Nov. 17 to 19, 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey.
One final note: the winter issue of Innovation will be the final one for Alistair Hamilton, IDSA as executive editor. Mark Dziersk, FIDSA will assume the executive editor position beginning with the spring 2012 issue. On behalf of IDSA's board of directors, and of all our members, I’d like to thank Alistair for the fabulous job he did over the last two years. Editor of Innovation is a time-consuming and challenging job and is a voluntary position. It is through the volunteered time of our talented and dedicated members such as Alistair that IDSA is able to continue as the foremost member-based industrial design society in the world. Thank you, Alistair, for your outstanding service to IDSA.