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CSULB Participates In Design Conference April 12-13

Published: April 2, 2013

The Western District Conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) arrives in downtown Long Beach April 12-13 under the theme “Designer as Entrepreneur” with heavy participation from CSULB’s Department of Industrial Design.

“We will explore how industrial designers are becoming entrepreneurs in innovative and exciting ways and hear from creative and inspiring individuals who are initiating companies large and small,” said David Teubner, one of the conference organizers and member of the CSULB Industrial Design faculty since 1992. “Whether they are starting their own design consultancy or manufacturing their own products, the opportunities and possibilities are wide open. And, you will benefit from their experience as they share their successful methods as well as their failures.”

Teubner believes participation in the Western District IDSA conference represents a feather in the cap of CSULB’s Industrial Design Department.

“The Duncan Anderson Design Lecture Series has increased our visibility and IDSA National in Washington D.C. has certainly taken notice,” he explained. “Shelley Takahashi, CSULB lecturer, alumna and chair of IDSA-LA, and I were very influential in choosing the theme of “Designer as Entrepreneur.” So many of our lecturers have promoted this idea that we were simply compelled to choose it as our theme; one that is both timely and useful. If you look at the speaker line up, you will notice that Dario Antonioni, Steve Boyer, Ernesto Quinteros, Ravi Sawhney, Robson Splane and Damien Vizcarra are all speaking at the conference and they are all former Duncan Anderson Design Lecture Series participants. This was no accident. It just goes to show you how closely we are working with the people who are influencing the future of our profession. “

The conference’s first day, Friday, April 12, features a meeting of the Student Chapter Officer Orientation Program (SCOOPs) led by CSULB Industrial Design’s Jose Rivera-Chang, IDSA Western District Education Representative. The 2013 Western District portfolio review at 1 p.m. will provide designers at all levels with the opportunity to have their portfolios looked over by design professionals. First-day speakers will include Antonioni, founder and creative director of Orange22 Design Lab, on “How to Get Ideas off the Ground Using Other People’s Money” and Erick Millan, creative director, Cesar Millan, on “Dog + Design = Instinctual Living.” The conference also will present an opportunity for IDSA students to compete with other schools in an entrepreneurial design challenge, which was organized by CSULB industrial design senior, Rex Roberts. Teams will have 72 hours to act as entrepreneurs—develop a product and create a short video pitch.

Saturday, April 13, brings a panel discussion of “Designer as Entrepreneur” moderated by Eric Paul Rose and featuring Gabriel Warfofsky, Vinh Phamdo and Ravi Sawhney. It will be followed by Mike Mayberry on “The Idea is the Easy Part.” A panel on “Launching Entrepreneurship through Education” will be moderated by CSULB’s Max Beach and will include Boyer and Karen Hoffman. Robson Splane, president/CEO, Splane Design Associates Inc., will speak on “The DreamProjX Alternative.”

Beach, partner in Impact Design Associates, will speak on “Launching Entrepreneurship through Education” with Boyer, principal partner of Steve Boyer Design and Hofmann, chair, Product Design, Art Center College of Design.

Speaking on “Designer as Entrepreneur” will be Vinh Phamdo, Sketchy Design Studio; Rose, Pepperdine University; Sawhney, president/CEO, RKS Design Inc.; and Wartofsky, vice president and CTO Conscious Commuter Corp.

Addressing portfolio practices will be Jason Belaire, owner/principal, ENFOQUE design LLC; Stuart Karten, president of Karten Design; Oliver Seil, senior design director, Belkin Inc.; and Damien Vizcarra, senior designer, Continuum.

Mayberry, co-owner, Magpul Industries Corp., will speak on “The Idea is the Easy Part.”

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Teubner of the speaker lineup. “The conference came to Long Beach because the L.A. chapter is kicking butt. We went from nothing, dead and non-existent in 2004 to the most active chapter in the country. And it was our lecture series that pushed our record over the top.”

“We wanted to make sure every participant in the conference would come away with information they could use,” said Teubner. “Our profession is changing drastically. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes. The rise of entrepreneurship is the writing on the wall for design. The same opportunities now facing music and art, where artists can do their own marketing, now face design. Our students can create their own projects and market them. They don’t need corporate help. They can do it themselves.”

The stress on entrepreneurship reflects deep changes in modern design, Teubner believes.

“The days when designers needed brick-and-mortar offices are over,” he said. “Today’s designer can run a business from a garage. The web enables today’s designer to sell all over the world. The challenge used to be to find 100 customers who could find your store. But today, if a designer can find 20,000 customers from the entire world population, that designer is in business.”

By participating in the IDSA Western District Conference, CSULB’s Industrial Design program is helping to influence their professional future.

“I hope conference participants return to their homes in Seattle, Denver, Portland and the Bay Area with lots to say about Cal State Long Beach’s Industrial Design Department,” he said. “I hope this conference demonstrates CSULB’s success in linking up with industry professionals.”

–Richard Manly