Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) audiovisual materials1931-2014
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is a trade organization for industrial designers that promotes the impact of design on business, culture, and society. It advocates for the profession through providing educational opportunities and is an active member of the World Design Organization. IDSA was formed in 1965 with the merger of three predecessor organizations. The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) audiovisual materials document the members of the organization through images, sound recordings, and videos of events, primarily of the annual conference between 1980 and 2014. The files come from IDSA headquarters, primarily from Kristina Goodrich, who was executive director of IDSA from 1999 to 2006 and communication manager from 1981 to 1998. The collection has been arranged into seven series: IDSA conferences; IDSA office staff, board of directors, and committees; IDSA chapter events; Exhibits and other events; Industrial design files; Industrial/International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) winners; and IDSA publications.
- Industrial Designers Society of America (Organization)
14 Linear Feet
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is a trade organization for industrial designers that promotes the impact of design on business, culture, and society. It advocates for the profession through providing educational opportunities and is an active member of the World Design Organization.
IDSA was formed in 1965 with the merger of three predecessor organizations: the American Society of Industrial Design (ASID), the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI), and the Industrial Design Education Association (IDEA). In 1965, IDSA had approximately 600 members in ten chapters across the country. Its first chairman of the board was John Vassos (1898-1985), the founder of ADI, and its first president was Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972); both were significant industrial designers. By 2000, the organization boasted more than 3,300 members and twenty-eight chapters.
Originally headquartered in New York City, IDSA relocated in the 1980s to the Washington, D.C., suburbs, where it remains today. There are approximately a dozen staff members at the IDSA headquarters, a board of directors, and standing and ad hoc committees that are volunteer-run.
The society is organized by district, professional chapters, and student chapters. Five districts are structured by geographic region. There are various local professional chapters within each region and student chapters centered at academic institutions. There is an international presence with twenty-seven local chapters in twenty-seven different locations.
IDSA hosts the International Design Conference, as well as five district conferences each year. Additionally, IDSA holds numerous events such as educational symposiums, which are one-day lectures or panels convening at various academic institutions; deep-dives, small gatherings for professionals tailored around a specific theme or topic; and local chapter events, which are held routinely.
The annual International Design Conference is IDSA’s major event, held over several days in late summer or early fall. The conference was first held in 1980. The annual conference has several key features: the Design Gallery, an exhibit hall of vendor booths and displays; a job fair; section meetings; roundtables; an auction; the Patron’s Party; portfolio reviews; speeches; panels; Student Merit Awards and presentations; and the renowned International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) ceremony and dinner.
The organization recognizes excellence in the field via the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), a worldwide design competition held annually and awarded at the international conference. The IDEA awards were established in 1980 and are co-sponsored by Businessweek magazine. Projects are evaluated that have been introduced to the public or are developed for conceptual exploration. To be awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award, the design must have a positive social impact, meet universal user needs, be ecologically sound, innovative, and aesthetically appealing. Before the annual conference, a diverse jury convenes to evaluate the submissions for each category and subcategory. IDEA is a prestigious award. In 2019, there were more than 1,600 entries received from twenty-four countries/regions, and 101 received awards; nineteen were Gold winners.
IDEA winners and Student Merit Award winners are profiled in a special issue of IDSA’s quarterly magazine on design titled Innovation. First published in 1982, Innovation magazine provides in-depth coverage of industrial design issues. IDSA also publishes a weekly e-newsletter highlighting the latest headlines in the design world titled designBytes.
Many accomplished designers have been members of IDSA, including designers whose papers reside at Hagley, such as Richard Hollerith (1926- ), Raymond Loewy (1893-1986), and Thomas Lamb (1897-1988).
Scope and Contents
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) audiovisual materials document the members of the organization through images, sound recordings, and videos of events, primarily of the annual conference between 1980 and 2014. The files come from IDSA headquarters, primarily from Kristina Goodrich, who was executive director of IDSA from 1999 to 2006 and communication manager from 1981 to 1998.
The collection has been arranged into seven series: IDSA conferences; IDSA office staff, board of directors, and committees; IDSA chapter events; Exhibits and other events; Industrial design files; Industrial/International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) winners; and IDSA publications.
The IDSA conferences series includes the annual conference and the five district conferences. It has been divided into two subseries: IDSA international conferences and IDSA district conferences.
The IDSA international conferences subseries contains the annual International Design Conference and the IDEA jury that precedes each conference. The jury images generally show the jurors in a hotel conference room standing or sitting around tables looking at submissions. There is often a group portrait of the jurors. Rarely, there are individual portraits of each juror. Some of the later years have short digital videos.
The conference images show attendees' interactions during breaks or social events, often highlighting the Design Gallery and the vendor booths. There are images showing panels and speakers. Later years show images of the portfolio review, the IDEA ceremony and dinner, the job fair, and tours of the host city. The subseries is arranged chronologically. There are not images of IDEA juries for every year, and there are not images from conferences for every year. The subseries date from 1980 to 2014.
The IDSA district conferences subseries is arranged alphabetically by district, then chronologically. The images show attendees interacting during breaks or social events, speaking on panels, and receiving awards. The digital materials include presentation slides and videos of presentations. The Mideast District changed its name to the Central District in 2012. The materials date from 1985 to 2014 (not all years are present).
The IDSA office staff, board of directors, and committees series includes images of the headquarters building, the board of directors, and committees such as the Executive Committee, Membership Committee, and Planning Committee. The images show meetings, usually small ones at a restaurant. Transition meetings often include a literal exchange of a gavel. The New Officer Orientation meeting has a large attendance. There is a set of audio cassette tapes that are mostly unidentified, but those that are have labels indicating they are from board of directors meetings. These materials date from 1988 to 2005, with one from 1981.
The IDSA chapter events series consists of photographs taken at local professional and student chapter events. These are generally few in number and appear to have been sent to headquarters from the individual chapters. Local chapter events vary from social occasions, an educational lecture, or a visit to an industrial design locale. Not every chapter is represented, and chapters change over the years. The names have been standardized to the chapters that existed at the time of processing, with the original chapter name in the notes field. The series is arranged in alphabetical order, and materials date from 1986 to 2009 (not all years are present).
The Exhibits and other events series consists of images and a few video recordings of a variety of industrial design events that IDSA either hosted or participated in. Events are primarily other conferences such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), NHMA National Student Design Competition at the International Housewares Show, Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), and the World Design Organization. There are also images from the IDSA awards ceremony, the IDSA education conference, exhibits, and of IDSA representatives testifying before Congress for design copyright. The series is arranged in alphabetical order, and materials date from 1965 to 2007 (not all years are present). The Industrial design files series is composed of materials about design and designers that are unrelated to the IDEA awards. The images and video recordings often focus on a particular designer or on a topic, such as cars or electronics and home appliances. The series is arranged in alphabetical order, and materials date from 1940 to 2005, with two items outside that range dating to 1931 and 2012.
The Industrial/International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) winners series consists mainly of slides and transparencies of winners, with a few photographic prints dating from 1987 to 2008, with outliers dating to 1980 and 2011. The sets of images for most years are incomplete and most likely do not contain all of the winners. For most years, the photographic prints appear to be either from the submission or copies of the submitted images. However, for three years, there are larger sets of photographic prints produced by IDSA for publicity purposes of all the winners. There are many videos from the 2004 IDEA winners. There are also some videos created for the conferences showcasing the winners.
The IDSA publications series consists of photograph specification sheets for the publications Design Perspectives and Innovation magazine from 1991 and 1992. The photographs are unmarked originals with an overlay showing the desired cropping. The specifications state the required scale, the issue, and the page number for the image to appear on. There is also a small set of directory advertisement proofs.
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Language of Materials
On Deposit from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) records (Accession 2753), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
Publications received as part of the same accession were transferred to Hagley's Published Collections Department and may be found in Hagley's library catalog.
- Industrial Designers Society of America (Organization)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) audiovisual materials
- Laurie Sather
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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