ID Faculty on the Road

by New Idiom


Below are brief updates from two of many professors who have recently presented at conferences around the world.

from Chris Conley

I’ve spoken twice recently, first at the ICSID Congress that IDSA was hosting in San Francisco and then at Adaptive Path’s MX East conference.

I continue to present on the topics of prototyping, design tools, and creative production. It is clear to me, both from the positive reactions to my talks and the themes of other presenters, that we are on the cusp of a revolution of how we work in our organizations. And that revolution is about empathy/insight with the context, different disciplines working together iteratively, a resurgence of tangible experiments (prototypes!) to explore the solution, and aiming this new way of working at creating value for people that business folks see as relevant to creating economic value…

Today I had the pleasure of hearing Khoi Vinh who is a design director at the New York Times. He was talking about how they are trying to reinvent templates for online layout so that they give more flexibility in having the layout respond to the content. His work is amazing and you can start following him on his blog www.subtraction.com

from Patrick Whitney

Design Thinkers Annual Conference
Toronto, October 17, 2007

How does design change as we shift from a push to a pull economy?

They invited me to give a keynote on this theme. I had one hour in
front of an audience of 700 communication designers from across Canada
and the USA. It was a two-day event covering broad content covered by
other speakers including Stefan Seigmeister, Karim Rashid, Abott Miller
and Grant McCracken among others.

ICSID Congress

San Francisco, October 20, 2007

There is method in his madness
Bill Moggridge, who chaired the congress of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, asked me to speak about ID’s approach to using design methods. I had 25 minutes with about 400 people from around the world. The main focus of the talk was why rigorous methods are needed for some types of design problems, and that most of these methods are concentrated, more formalized, ways of working that grow out of traditional design processes (often viewed by executives as mad) that they are familiar with.

I also talked about why incredible people from diverse backgrounds come to study at ID, and why companies come to ID to recruit and support research. I showed the Chuck Owen “Real-Abstract & Analysis-Synthesis” model and a few projects from ID and elsewhere that represented the use of different methods and frameworks.

This talk was followed by a panel with Roger Martin, Richard Seymor, Mark Dziersk and myself. The moderator immediately turned to the audience for questions. In general, their questions were mostly about the normal disconnect between designers and executives.

IIT Asian Alumni Meeting
Tokyo, October 26, 2007

Evolution of Strategic Design
The Asian alumni from all schools in IIT meet every year in a different city. This year the hosts in Tokyo wanted the whole program to be about strategic design and asked Vijay Kumar, Kei Sato and I to give presentations.

I will give a talk about how, in North America, design has become more strategic than before because companies have to pay much more attention to users’ needs that they had to before. In the past, the dominant questions were “factory centered” and related to economy of scale and efficiency. Now, the dominant questions are centered on discovering what users really need before they ask for it and related to economy of choice and effectiveness.

Vijay is talking about a tool kit of methods that can help a company be more innovative and Kei is talking about research at ID that companies find relevant. There will be alumni from across Asia, including China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and, of course, Japan.