Jeevak Badve: Presented the Theme for 2017 for the IDC @ Atlanta
August 20, 2016
Theme: “Industrial Design is the best Business Plan”
We, Industrial Designers are from that very few handful disciplines on this globe that really really value and strive for achieving betterment of the human condition. When I say value, not just intrinsic value but the fundamental instrumental value.
We as a profession are not even 100 years old: We started with making everyday objects beautiful and meaningful, unique and compelling, memorable and desirable. And now we are conquering the evolving world of service design and experiential design.
See I believe that of all the human species, we Industrial Designers have that very peculiar attribute of being “relentlessly optimistic.” So what ever the new world is going to throw at us, we will find out a way. The forces of digitization, electrification, sensorification, autonomy or connectivity. We will surmount those barriers and actually leverage those as elements.
And that’s because of our inherent strength : Industrial strength design. Because we make “design at scale’ happen. It’s not “self expression” but we generate value for the stakeholders of that business.
Slice this any way you want, even if your product – solution might be the most meaningful, it has to sell in the open fair market ! Because that gives the Business the confident to invest and further continue the growth of their portfolio. The product – the solution has to be in perfect alignment with the core business capabilities and competencies.
And the good news is that business world is finally taking notice of the strategic advantage that we can and will bring to the table. You have seen and read the latest Harvard business reviews and Business News and Fast company articles and Wall street journals about their newfound “affection” for our discipline.
A few top most innovative companies are publicly declaring their solidarity to design, having a design seat at the board table, assimilating design strategy to significantly influence its business strategy.
But it has to many more companies. And we should not just let this happen organically. We have to embrace it intentionally and consciously.
Its time now for a very relevant point of departure, to not just take a deep dive at the end user needs but to evangelize laterally to our own “industrial creative supply chain”, especially the business community to demonstrate them the bottom line impact of Industrial Design.
It literally comes a full circle. Ayn Rand, author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged said and I quote her from her 1957 book “If there is more tragic a fool than the business man who doesn’t know that he is an exponent of man’s highest creative spirit, it’s the artist (us) who thinks that the businessman is his enemy”.
Because, if you dissect the business model patterns of these current successful innovative companies you will discover that they are essentially: investigating, understanding the target segment needs and desires and then meticulously developing meaningful product solutions and relevant ecosystems of experiences to make the end user’s life better, while making financial profits and helping in the ecological safe-keep of our planet. And guys that itself is the very basic “tenet” of Industrial design.
And this is our next year’s theme for the IDSA International Design Conference, to be held in Atlanta, GA. Conveniently located near the cross roads of America.
There will be an assortment of speakers from the intersection of design and business. There will be awesome off-site tours and great parties. We also aim to design and build for a “bring your kids/family with you” program. As just within walking distance are some world renowned family destinations: the Georgia aquarium, the hands-on kids museum, the Olympic park, the delicious foodie culture and the shopping districts within reach by Marta!
It will be a fun experience like no other! Hope to see you in Atlanta.