IDSA 2006 National Conference Day 4

IDSA 2006 National Conference Day 4

Delegates at day 4

The fourth and final day of IDSA got underway with a Live General Session: "The Design Element" hosted by Uday Dandavate of Sonic Rim. Uday brought together a number of people who have influenced him to tell the audience about their backgrounds and thoughts on the subject of design.

Lorraine Justice told us of her experience managing a core of colleagues consisting of a mix of Oriental, European and US academic staff. Describing meetings at her school, she enlightened us that Orientals like to resolve everything before a meeting and think it is bad form to loose your cool and raise your voice etc.. Europeans enjoy confrontation and without it, a meeting isn't considered a success. US Americans keep their eye on the ball and are determined to ensure the meeting addresses the issues it's supposed to.

BusinessWeek, sponsors of the IDEA awards, have done much to enhance the profile of design in the business community in the USA. Certainly, the BusinessWeek website is the one place your reporter regularly visits for insights into the business angle of design. After years of work raising the profile of design at BusinessWeek, Bruce Nussbaum talked of the difficulty of effecting cultural change in an organization with a humourous story involving a meeting room, portraits of past CEO's hanging on the walls, removing those protraits and incredulous colleagues asking "You can do that?"

Klaus Krippendorff, in a rapid-fire talk, told us about his formal training in Engineering, Design and then Communications. In the ID world Klaus is probably most famous for his work in product semantics that gave rise to that style trend in the mid 80's to 90's (know the one I'm talking about?) Klaus then proceeded to attack and undermined so many cherished notions held by designers, that this reporter could not keep up. Sniffing at the idea of "usability", he said "Certainly you can't have something that is not usable."

M.P. Ranjan talked of the National Institute of Design in India. He showed examples of his excellent work at the NID Centre for Bamboo Initiatives, making use of this most versatile material in ways intended to integrate with local culture and develop the local economy. Doris Wells-Papanek began with her famous name. No, she explained, she is not the daughter of the great Victor, instead she married a Papanek. Having worked with Xerox, Apple, Lotus, etc., Doris spoke passionately about the users perspective, engaging and developing the user's interest and learning process.

The afternoon promised diverse offerings, your reporter was tempted by the educational symposium sessions focussing on professional development. Real usable knowledge. "Engaging Visualization" discussed new approaches and innovative methods for this important design tool. "Methods and Application of Advanced Photo-Documentation Techniques in the Studio" gave information on techniques and tools brought about by the digital photography revolution. "Visualization in Design: The Shift from Mastery to Intelligence" consisted of a panel discussion about the state of the art in visual skills, and speculated on the future in education and practice. But, in truth my dear reader, your reporter didn't attend these sessions. he decided to steal away with one thing on his mind: Bats! Aside from Stevie Ray Vaughn, the 6 million dollar man, and a few other things, the city of Austin is famous for the millions (yes) of bats that inhabit Congress bridge. Don't believe it? Google it. Anyway, the Education Symposium papers will be freely available online soon, and such an outrageous story had to be investigated and your reporter decided that a detour was in order. Well it's all true. At sunset the creatures, all one-million of them (est.) began to pour out from their nests in hungry clouds in search of food, watched by a few hundred onlookers at the bridge and river shore. A single bat can consume 600 odd mosquitos an hour. A free pest control public service. The bat colony on Congress bridge established itself after the bridge was built, as the bats felt at home in the 2" wide slots embedded into the bridges concrete underside.

Unfortunately, no design award for the bridge designers as they didn't intend for the bats to nest there.

However, there were plenty design awards being handed out at the splendid IDEA Awards Ceremony that brought IDSA 2006 to a close. Bruce Nussbaum, Chris Conley, and IDSA President Ron Kemnitzer presented awards interspersed with video clips describing the winners. Finally, Bruce Nussbaum announced the big news for the ID global community at this years event was that IDEA is planning to go global with their competition for next year. Plenty to think about before next year's IDSA and ISID joint conference in San Fransisco.

Alex Velasco

The IBM Derby is heating up as the final get closer.

Vincent Lam of M3 Design and their smokin' creation.

Tim Uys, Glenn Clifton and Brian Butler of ID-One, Austin, show off their IBM derby masterpieces.

Design Continuum stole the honours at this year's IBM derby.

Brian Case of Confederate motorcycles shows off their retro-model.

Cars having out grudge re-matches.

Joseph Lehman of Priority Designs demonstrating their innovative IBM derby entry.

Another mind-boggling IBM derby entry from Priority Designs.

Crowds begin to gather at the Congress bridge for the great exodus of "a million" bats.

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