IDSA / ICSID Connecting Congress 2007 - Day 2

IDSA / ICSID Connecting Congress 2007: Day 2

The day kick-started with a video-collage by Rick English, which is a brief collection of highlights and events from the day before.

The theme of Thursday was "Connecting People and Places". The morning plenary sessions which started at 9.00 am took place in the large Masonic Audiotorium. The first speaker, Hans Rosling, who is a Professor of International Health at Karolinska Instituted, Stockholm, Sweden showed how powerful design can be if used in the correct way. Titled "Design As Myth Buster" , he effectively presented how complex world statistic can be showed in a playful way with the help of design. Aiming to destroy the myths about the differences between the so-called third world and the first world, his software effectively promotes a more "fact-based" world view. More of his work can be visited at

The second presenter, Richard Seymour, who is the co-founder of world-famous design firm Seymourpowell, gave a speech with the title "Space Tourism". Given the job to work on the design of the Virgin Galactic space tourism project, Seymour provided glimpses into our changing image of space-travel. Being one of the Europe's best-known product designers, Seymour pointed out that designers cannot be pessimistic by definition. Therefore, every designer should strive for a future that is "a little bit better than it is now".

The third presentation, "Sleek and Green" gave insights into a "green" electric sports car project which has been designed with the collaboration of Tesla Motors and Lotus Cars. The greatest challenge of the project was to create an electric performance car which will appeal consumers that are well accustomed to high-performance super sports cars. The designer from Lotus, Barney Hatt stated that his ultimate aim was to create an absolutely desirable, beautiful sports car". To that end, he combined the classical styling of sports cars with the well-defined, sharp lines of contemporary product design. The final product is not only fast but also green and eco-friendly and extremely economic in terms of fuel consumption: Three things that are hard to find in the same car.

After a brief coffee break, Alex Steffen took the stage with his presentation , "Imagining a Future that Works" which was highly critical of the contemporary life-styles of the developed countries. However, our current conception of "sustainability" is far from being-perfect. Basically, we are using "too much of the earth" and a new model of living is required if human race does not want to run headlong into a global disaster. According to Steffen, Americans who have a great share of responsibility in the current global situation should take the read and create a new, sustainable paradigm: "Small steps are not enough; there are no private solutions to public problems".

After the lunch break, the day continued with parallel sessions held at different venues such as Masonic Center, Fairmont Hotel and Standord Court Hotel. Between 2.00 PM and 6.30 PM 50 different sessions were held with a variety of topics ranging from education to user centered design.

One of the interesting presentations were the plenary session by Ezio Manzini and Suzanne Gibbs Howard. In his speech, titled Connected People& Connecting agents, Manzini talked about the importance of dematerialization and connectivity in solving a wide variety of environmental issues related to sustainability. On the other hand, Suzanne Gibbs Howard who is and anthropologist by training, shared some insights about her experiences from IDEO focusing on user centered innovation and design.

After 7 PM, 16 different design studios such as Frog, Smart Design, Ideo Lunar Design ...etc opened their doors to parties that lasted till late our, bringing together the design community.

Morning Plenary Sessions - Masonic Auditorium

Hans Rosling - Design as Myth Buster! -

Richard Seymour - Space Tourism -

JB Straubel & Barney Hatt - Sleek and Green - /

Break - Masonic Temple

Alex Steffen - Imagining a Future that Works -

Connecting Places + - Moderator: Lorraine Justice, FIDSA
Richard Seymour, Larry Speck, Barney Hatt, Aysel Birsel, Bibi Seck


Ezio Manzini - Connected People & Connecting Agents -

Suzanne Gibbs Howard - Blurring the Boundaries Between Anthropology and Design -

Frog Design
On October 18th night, Frog Design opened its doors to Connecting 07 participants in order to show the world behind the concrete walls.

Frog's San Francisco office is a 3 storey building located on 420 Bryant Street.

Designers have their area on the third floor and second floor is more of a socialization space. Hartmut Esslinger- founder of Frog Design- also participated the event which lasted till midnight.

Smart Design Party


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