This from David Teubner:For months now, Max Beach, my students and I have been racking our brains to try and come up with a new format for the Education Event for IDSA-LA.
Our goal was to get lots of students and professionals together in the same room and then get them to interact and talk design. We didn’t want the professionals to be out-numbered and we didn’t want them to feel any obligation to hand out jobs; and we didn’t want the students to endure the usual ego-bruising scrutiny of their projects.
Darn it, we just wanted to have fun and we wanted to come away from the evening having made new friends and new contacts.
At 7 o’clock I looked around the room and I saw all the professionals standing in a group to my right; the students huddled together, silent, with sleep-deprived, blank faces; and the semi-pros (recent grads) pointing at the displays on the wall and laughing. [ed: Not!]
Was this going to work? I was having my doubts.
Then we started in with our elevator-pitch concept. We invited three professionals to form a panel and one-by-one the students stepped forward and pretended to enter the elevator with the three pros. They had three minutes to try and convince the professionals of their passion for design and then the pros got a chance to respond and tell them if they were interested or not.
The professionals did a great job. For once they were gentle with their criticism and they gave fantastic advice and insight. The students did a great job too, practicing that all-important designer skill of learning how to speak intelligently when your brain is only firing on two cylinders. But the best part was when I got to pull a switcheroo on the professionals and asked them to then get up and give their own pitch to the students. Slowly, the ice began to melt.
By the time intermission came, I looked around the room and experienced sweet success. No more groups or clicks but everyone intermingling and talking passionately about design. It was a great event!
Thanks to my students for putting it all together and thanks to the members of IDSA-LA for braving the freeways and participating in an event that had the highest professional-to-student ratio ever.
And thanks to all our panelists for sharing your time and wisdom…
Carl Muller: President, Carl Muller Design
Eric Rose: Director of Research and Development, Moldex, president of PDMA-LA
Kurt Botsai: Vice President of Innovation, RKS
Norman Kerechuk: President, GKDI-LA
Chuck Pelly: founder of BMW Group, DesignWorks USA
Jeff Brown: President, Gruppe B
Jason Ivey: President, Icon Packaging
Tom White: Executive Vice President, RKS
Myk Lum: President, Lum Design Associates
Bill Leach from DDStudio
Mike Wick from Belkin
Gary Leynes from Mattel
And a very, special thanks to Shawn Zindroski and Haryn de Leon from Morpheus Prototypes for sponsoring the event.
Hope to see you all at the next one,
We're hoping to post more photos of the event. Check the Flickr pool for more!