Surya Vanka Named Chair of IDSA 2015 Conference; New Chair to Lead IDSA's 50th Anniversary International Conference in Seattle

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Surya Vanka, IDSA, of Microsoft Corp., will chair the Industrial Designers Society of America's 50th Anniversary conference—The Future of the Future: The Next 50 Years—August 19-22, 2015 in Seattle, WA.

Surya Vanka, IDSA, Director of User Experience at Microsoft Corporation, will chair the 50th Anniversary conference of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) August 19-22, 2015 in Seattle, WA.

The theme of the conference is The Future of the Future: The Next 50 Years. The conference will celebrate the achievements of the design community over the last half century and accelerate reinvention of the profession to ensure its relevance in the 21st century.

The conference is the capstone event of IDSA's year-long 50th Anniversary celebration. IDSA Chair Austen Angell said, ”This is possibly the most important conference in our history. The 50th is about the next 50 years, not just the last 50 years. Surya Vanka has the right vision, maturity of thought and perspective on the industry to lead this conference.”

"I'm deeply honored to have the opportunity to contribute to IDSA and my fellow designers," said Vanka. "For half a century, IDSA has advanced the design profession. I'm grateful for the opportunity to facilitate the conversations that will lead our profession into the next half century."

To mark the beginning of IDSA’s next 50 years, the organizing committee led by Vanka is planning an ambitious agenda for the conference in Seattle.

Follow the development of the conference at #IDSASeattle15 on Twitter.


Surya Vanka has worked for more than three decades as a designer, corporate design leader, design educator, speaker and author. He oversees best practices and engineering standards at Microsoft to create high-quality user experiences for its customers. During his 15 years at the company, Vanka has worked as a designer and director and has led many large-scale initiatives to drive organizational change. Before joining Microsoft, he was a professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study. He has authored two books on design and several publications, and has lectured on design in more than 20 countries. He has won two Microsoft Best Practice awards, the Microsoft Accessibility Achievement Award and several industry recognition awards. An exceptional speaker with a broad range of corporate and research experiences, Vanka is frequently invited to give keynote speeches at prestigious conferences and has won top speaker awards three times. Vanka serves on the advisory board of the Design Management Institute and his work has appeared in numerous publications and news programs, including Form, I.D., Design Council, WIRED, Interactions, the BBC and NPR.


With its roots reaching back to 1938 and founded in 1965, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world's largest, member-driven society for industrial designers in the United States. IDSA represents professionals in product design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design, and related design fields. Each year, IDSA conducts the renowned International Design Excellence Award® (IDEA) competition and hosts an international conference and five regional design conferences. It also publishes INNOVATION, a quarterly publication on design, and designBytes, a weekly round-up of design industry news that is distributed digitally. IDSA's charitable arm, the Design Foundation, grants undergraduate and graduate scholarships annually to further industrial design education. The organization has more than 3,200 members in 30 professional chapters in the US and internationally.

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Karen Berube