| Dec 19, 2011 |
"Design at the Edges" IDA Congress Taipei wrap-up report
Boh staff
By Staff

The IDA Congress, an annual event for dialogue between designers and non-design stakeholders which took place at the Taiwan Design Centre in October, explored the intersection between design and globally relevant five topics: Biotechnology, Urbanism, Technology, Economic Development, and International Migration.

The aim was to bring together the unified voice of designers around the world in a themed framework to advance the vision and mission of the IDA by engaging with government leaders, NGO's, business, science and technology, education, and the social sciences.

2011 IDA Congress Taipei Signing Ceremony. L-R: Icsid President Mark Breitenberg, Taiwan Design Centre CEO Tony Chang, IFI President Shashi Caan, Icograda President Russell Kennedy.

The three-day "Design at the Edges" IDA Congress focused on three 'edges' of design. The edge between the design practices and other fields; the edge between design disciplines and what they share; and the 'cutting edge' work and ideas in design and in other fields: radically new, controversial, experimental, pushing the boundaries of the discipline.

Dr. Mark Breitenberg, Icsid President (2009-2011) recapped "In the first keynote, Esko Aho quoted the late Steve Jobs, saying, 'It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.' It was comments like this that set the tone for the Congress and conversation amongst other speakers and delegates."

"On the second day, Barry Lam and Vandana Shiva commented on the relationship between design and humanity; the relationship humans have to their land, their environment and the impact on design produced," continued Breitenberg.

Dr. Breitenberg stated "Bringing together industrial, communication and interior architecture/design disciplines with stakeholders of design to discuss problems and solutions of global importance was an important first step taken at this Congress. Exposing design students in these discussions was especially invaluable, as they will carry these conversations into the future."

"There is a Japanese proverb that Esko Aho also quoted in his keynote address, 'vision without execution is daydream, but execution without vision is a nightmare'. I believe that the balance of vision and execution at the Congress showed what designers are capable of. I look forward to the 2013 congress in Istanbul to showcase the new ideas, dreams and plans of designers around the world," concluded Breitenberg.

The international panels of responders each shared broad insight and perspective, and debated the stake that design contributes to these fields and how design-led approaches can enable innovation in any field or industry

The 'Design Salon' sessions were planned to increase interactive dialogue between the speakers and the audience and to strengthen interflow between different design disciplines. The sessions followed the 5 main topics (Economic Development, the Internet, Urbanism, International Migration and Biotechnology). Design does not have to be grave or tiresome, or taught in a seminar-like fashion. These parallel sessions were organised without 'an air of stuffiness', in a more casual and comfortable way. Outstanding designers from all over the world gathered together to arrange the sessions in their own style, and to share their design ideologies with the audience. The trend towards interdisciplinary design was widely discussed, and through these discussions and dialogues, the bridges between participants from multiple fields were explored.

Speakers from various parts of the world were invited to present their research papers and demonstrate how knowledge is applied to good design that changes how we live. The global web of design education enables research to be shared and fully assimilated to stimulate better designs.

Following a double-blind peer-review process, papers at the cutting edge of design were nominated to be presented during the afternoon sessions over three days. Each 15-minute paper presentation was followed by a moderated 15-minute question and answer session with the audience. A total of 45 presentations were made during 15 sessions, during the three afternoons.

The 'Young Designers Sharing' sessions were presented by 30 teams from the 'Young Designers Workshop (YDW),' a parallel event to the 2011 IDA Congress organised by Taiwan Design Center.

The guest lecturer and members of each team presented their results from the workshop. The sessions provided an exceptional opportunity for next generation designers to grow and build social connections. The guest lecturer and members of each YDW team provided a 15-minute presentation about the outcome from the team's inspirational concepts YDW topic. There were 30 presentations (between 4-6 presentations per session on day 1). Approximately 900 participants from the YDW attended the Congress in total.

The 'Design Practice' sessions included single discipline and interdisciplinary sessions highlighting professional practice examples in industrial design, communication design and interior architecture/design, illustrated by design-led case studies. Each 20-minute presentation was followed by a 10-minute moderated question and answer session with the speaker and participants. There were three presentations per session, with a total of 15 presentations during 5 sessions over the three afternoons.

Three theme evening parties were organised for Congress participants, including 'Welcome Party,' 'Cultural Night' and 'Taipei Night' for the end of each day of the 2011 IDA Congress. Chinese cuisine, Taiwanese snacks and Taiwanese food were served, and these events included many entertaining performances that showcased Taiwan's memorable hospitality, cultural characteristics and enthusiasm.

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