Industrial Designers Society of America

Industrial Designers Society of America

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Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is an organization of professional industrial designers primarily in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Recently IDSA has started chapters in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and in China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. IDSA is also a member of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design was founded in 1957 from a group of international organizations focused on industrial design. Today Icsid is a worldwide society that promotes better design around the world...


IDSA's Core Purpose and Mission

IDSA's core purpose is to advance the profession of industrial design through education, information, community and advocacy.

IDSA's mission is:

1. Lead the profession by expanding our horizons, connectivity and influence, and our service to members

2. Inspire design quality and responsibility through professional development and education

3. Elevate the business of design and improve our industry's value


The organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 of professional designers can be traced to the beginning of the industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

 profession itself, which first came to the attention of the general US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 public in 1927. That year, Macy's
Macy's is a U.S. chain of mid-to-high range department stores. In addition to its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, the company operates over 800 stores in the United States...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 held a well-attended Exposition of Art in Trade. This featured "modern products," many of them from the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts
Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes
The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts was a World's fair held in Paris, France, from April to October 1925. The term "Art Deco" was derived by shortening the words Arts Décoratifs, in the title of this exposition, but not until the late 1960s by British art critic...

 in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, which was belatedly recognized by the US government as an important "modern movement."

Immediate public and manufacturer demand for these new "Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

" styles was so obvious, and the need so great, that a number of design professionals (often architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

s, package designers or stage designers) focused their creative efforts for the first time on mass-produced products. They claimed the new title of "industrial designer" which had originated in the US Patent Office in 1913 as a synonym for the then-current term "art in industry."

Immediately, some of these professionals founded the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) to protect their industrial, decorative and applied arts concepts from piracy
Patent infringement
Patent infringement is the commission of a prohibited act with respect to a patented invention without permission from the patent holder. Permission may typically be granted in the form of a license. The definition of patent infringement may vary by jurisdiction, but it typically includes using or...

, and to exhibit their new work. AUDAC attracted a broad range of artists, designers, architects, commercial organizations, industrial firms and manufacturers. Within a few years, it had more than a hundred members, and held major exhibitions in 1930 and 1931.

In 1933, The National Furniture Designers' Council (NFDC) was founded, bringing together a number of furniture representatives and designers to draw up a code for the National Recovery Administration
National Recovery Administration
The National Recovery Administration was the primary New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. The goal was to eliminate "cut-throat competition" by bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices...

 (NRA) to prevent design piracy. But in 1934, NRA was declared unconstitutional and NFDC disbanded.

In 1936, the American Furniture Mart
Merchandise Mart
When opened in 1930, the Merchandise Mart or the Merch Mart, located in the Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois, was the largest building in the world with of floor space. Previously owned by the Marshall Field family, the Mart centralized Chicago's wholesale goods business by consolidating vendors...

 in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 invited leading designers to form a new organization called the Designers' Institute of the American Furniture Mart. Some members felt restricted by the sole patronage and sponsorship of the furniture industry, and in 1938 they founded a broader-based organization called the American Designers Institute (ADI), which allowed specialization in one of many design areas, including crafts, decorative arts, graphics, products, packaging, exhibit or automotive styling, to name a few. ADI's first president was John Vassos
John Vassos
John Vassos was a noted American industrial designer and graphic designer.Vassos was born in Romania to Greek parents, and moved when young to Istanbul, Turkey, where he drew political cartoons for his father's newspaper...


In February 1944, fifteen prominent East Coast design practitioners established the Society of Industrial Designers (SID). Each of the founding members invited one additional designer to join the following year. Membership requirements were stringent, requiring the design of at least three mass-produced products in different industries. SID was formed in part to reinforce the legality of industrial design as a profession, and to restrict membership to experienced professionals. SID's first president was Walter Dorwin Teague
Walter Dorwin Teague
Walter Dorwin Teague was an American architect, designer and one of the most prolific American industrial designers in terms of volume of completed work. Teague's name and vision lives on through the legacy of his company....


In 1951, ADI relocated its administrative center to New York City, absorbing the Chicago Society of Industrial Designers (CSID) in the process and changing its name to the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI). That year, IDI initiated annual national design awards, which continued through 1965. By 1962, IDI had about 350 members in 10 city chapters across the country.

In 1955, The Society of Industrial Designers (SID) changed its name to the American Society of Industrial Design (ASID). By 1962, ASID had about 100 members in four chapters nationally.

In 1957, The Industrial Design Education Association (IDEA) was founded because neither professional society (IDI or ASID) accepted educators as full members. Its first president was Joseph Carriero (1920–1978).

In 1965, after over ten years of careful negotiations, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) was formed by the collaborative merger of IDI, ASID
American Society of Interior Designers
The American Society of Interior Designers is the oldest and largest professional association for interior designers. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, the Society strives to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate...

 and IDEA. In doing so, the strengths, purposes and varied philosophies of its predecessors combined to become the single voice of industrial design in the US.

When IDSA was formed, it consisted of about 600 members in 10 chapters across the country. The first Chairman of its Board was John Vassos (1898–1985), the founder of ADI, and its first President was Henry Dreyfuss
Henry Dreyfuss
Henry Dreyfuss was an American industrial designer.-Career:Dreyfuss was a native of Brooklyn, New York. As one of the celebrity industrial designers of the 1930s and 1940s, Dreyfuss dramatically improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens of consumer products...

 (1904–1972). By 1980, IDSA had re-initiated annual national design awards and revised its bylaws significantly.

Now at the dawn of the 21st century, IDSA has over 3,300 members and 28 chapters.

article written by Carroll Gantz, FIDSA

Past Presidents of IDSA

The IDSA Design History professional interest section chronicles the lives of some of the past leaders of the Industrial Designers Society of America.
IDSA Past Presidents Biographies:

Henry Dreyfuss
Henry Dreyfuss
Henry Dreyfuss was an American industrial designer.-Career:Dreyfuss was a native of Brooklyn, New York. As one of the celebrity industrial designers of the 1930s and 1940s, Dreyfuss dramatically improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens of consumer products...

, FIDSA/FRSA 1965; Joseph Marshall Parriott, FIDSA 1966; Robert H. Hose, FIDSA 1967-1968; Tucker Madawick, FIDSA 1969-1970; William M. Goldsmith, FIDSA 1971-1972; Arthur Jon Pulos, FIDSA 1973-1974; James F. Fulton, FIDSA 1975-1976; Richard Hollerith, jr., FIDSA 1977-1978; Carroll Gantz, FIDSA 1979-1980; Robert Smith, FIDSA 1981-1982; Katherine McCoy
Katherine McCoy
Katherine McCoy is an American graphic designer and educator, best known for her work as the co-chair of the graduate Design program for Cranbrook Academy of Art....

, FIDSA 1983-1984; Cooper Woodring, FIDSA 1985-1986; Peter Wooding, FIDSA 1987-1988; Peter Bressler, FIDSA 1989-1990; Charles Pelly
Charles Pelly
Charles W. Pelly, commonly Chuck Pelly, is an American industrial designer. Pelly is best known for founding the global design consultancy DesignworksUSA.He has spent most of his life in Southern California...

, FIDSA 1991-1992; David Tompkins, FIDSA 1993-1994; Jim Ryan, FIDSA 1995-1996; Craig Vogel, FIDSA 1997-1998; Mark Dziersk
Mark Dziersk
Mark Dziersk is an award winning American industrial designer based in Chicago, Illinois.-Biography:Mark Dziersk was born in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1981 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design. He started his career at GenRad in Massachusetts...

, FIDSA; Betty Baugh, FIDSA 2001-2002; Bruce Claxton, FIDSA 2003-2004; Ron Kemnitzer, FIDSA 2005-2006; Michelle Berryman, FIDSA 2007-2008; Eric Anderson, 2009–2010; George McCain, FIDSA, 2011-present

Academy of Fellows

Fellow Membership (FIDSA) in the Society may be conferred by two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors upon Members in good standing who have earned the special respect and affection of the membership through distinguished service to the Society and to the profession as a whole.

There are seven classes of IDSA membership: Professional Member, Life Member, Fellow Member, Honorary Member, International Member, Affiliate Member and Individual Student Member.

IDSA issues the Innovation Magazine, Design Perspectives monthly newsletter, and the annual Directory of Industrial Designers.

See also

Industrial Design Excellence Award

Fast Company Magazine

Design of the Decade

IDSA Publications

Industrial Design Society of America, (2003),Design Secrets: Products, Rockport Publishers, ISBN 978-1564964762

Haller, Lynn (author); Cullen, Cheryl Dangel (author); Industrial Design Society of America (editor), (2006),Design Secrets: Products 2: 50 Real-Life Product Design Projects Uncovered (v. 2), Rockport Publishers, ISBN 978-1592532926

Industrial Design Society of America, (1997),Innovation: Award-Winning Industrial Design, St. Martins Press, ISBN 978-0866363778

Industrial Design Society of America, (1991),Designing for Humanity: Award-Winning Designs Meeting People's Changing Needs, Pbc International, ISBN 978-0866361408

Hatch, Paul
Paul Hatch
Paul Hatch is a British industrial designer and is the founder / president of TEAMS Design USA, a product design consultancy. Since 1998, Hatch has been successfully establishing TEAMS Design USA as a local consultancy with a global outlook...

 (editor); McDonagh, Deana (editor); Balte, Tatyana (illustrator), (2006), REALIZE-Design Means Business, Industrial Designers Society of America, ISBN 978-1427606082

McDonagh, Deana (editor), (2005), IMPACT: The Synergy of Design, Technology, and Business, Industrial Designers Society of America, ISBN 978-0975274132

More on the History of Design

Woodham, Jonathan M., (1977), Twentieth Century Design, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0192842046
Sparke, Penny
Penny Sparke
Penny Sparke is a British writer and academic specialising in the history of design.She studied French Literature at Sussex University between 1967 and 1971 and completed her PhD in Design History in 1975...

, (1986), An Introduction to Design and Culture in the Twentieth Century, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415090919

de Noblet, Jocelyn, (1996), Industrial Design: Reflection of a Century - 19th to 21st Century, Flammarion, ISBN 978-2080135391

Sparke, Penny, (1999), A Century of Design: Design Pioneers of the 20th Century, Mitchell Beazley, ISBN 978-1840002133

Mielke, Jeffrey, (2001), Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design in America, 1925-1939, Temple University Press, ISBN 978-1566398930

Norman, Donald
Donald Norman
Donald Arthur Norman is an academic in the field of cognitive science, design and usability engineering and a co-founder and consultant with the Nielsen Norman Group. He is the author of the book The Design of Everyday Things....

,(2002), The Design of Everyday Things, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0465067107

Burdek, Bernhard, (2005), Design: The History, Theory and Practice of Product Design, Birkhäuser Basel, ISBN 978-3764370299

Norman, Donald, (2005), Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, Basic Books, ISBN 978-0465051366
Fiell, Charlotte and Peter, (2006), Industrial Design A-Z, Taschen, ISBN 978-3822850572

Barnwell, Maurice, (2011), Design, Creativity and Culture, Black Dog, ISBN 978 1 907317 40 8

External links