Duncan Anderson Design Lecture Series Continues Through AprilPublished: February 15, 2011
The Duncan Anderson Design Lecture Series continues in CSULB’s Design Department this spring with a new list of speakers. The series marks its inaugural season in conjunction with the class “Design 300 – Designers in Their Own Words” taught by David Teubner which meets on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Duncan Anderson Design Gallery.
The series was established by the Anderson-Malcolm family to honor the memory of Duncan Anderson, a former CSULB industrial design student who died while attending the university. The series is offered in conjunction with a pair of $6,000 Duncan Anderson scholarships that support two outstanding industrial design majors every year.
Teubner thanked series benefactor Cecilia Anderson Malcolm for her continuing yearly support, “It is Cecelia’s interest and support that makes our Industrial Design Program special.”
“In the past, we brought one prominent lecturer to campus each year,” recalled Teubner. “Then we decided to create a class to assure us of an audience of a certain size. Once we had a class, we needed more than one speaker. The class meets 15 times, and the original idea was for seven speakers, but, as it turned out, we were able to get more.”
Speakers this spring have included Ben Kaufman, founder of the product development firm Quirky; and inventor and entrepreneur Robson Splane. Upcoming guests scheduled are Chris Calori, co-founder of the New York-based consultancy C&VE and expert on signage systems for large buildings on Feb. 15; CSULB graduate Leslie Speer, now head of the industrial design program at San Jose State University on Feb. 22; author of the book Predictable Magic Ravi Sawhney on March 1; branding expert Sasha Strauss on March 22; Wibke Fleisher, representing the firm Femme Den from Smart Design, creators of products for women; and COO of Lunar Design Gerard Furbershaw speaking on “Going Solo: Letting Your Intellectual Property Work for You” on April 26.
Teubner, who joined the university in 1992, pointed with pride to Kaufman’s success. “Kaufman is touring design schools nationwide,” he explained. “After visiting CSULB, he went to Art Center and then Stanford. It’s kind of nice to be in with that group. That’s one of the super benefits of this lecture series. We’re getting our name out there. The Cal State Long Beach Industrial Design program is on the map. We’re playing with the big guys.”
The October 2010 presentation by Clive Roux, executive director of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), underlined both the series’ success and the department’s cooperation with IDSA and its Los Angeles chapter.
“Starting with studio visits, a design mixer, through the main presentation and beyond, more than 150 students and design professionals spent the day engaged in an exchange of ideas,” Teubner recalled. “Roux spoke about the many new career options available to designers today. I was impressed by Roux’s willingness to spend all day with our students. We had the CEO of IDSA national here. He came in and hung out in our studio. He was involved in our classes and talked to our students in the morning and the afternoon. We had standing room only that night,” he added. “What began at 9 a.m. ended at 10:30 p.m. We have taken a once-a-year event and turned it into a weekly opportunity for the industrial design community and our program. It is a place where the local and national design communities can come together and talk shop. It’s been great.”
Teubner believes the Industrial Design program enjoys a symbiotic relationship with IDSA-LA. “They help us and we help them,” he said. “They help us meet new people and we get involved with their events. Over time, we have gotten closer to the point where the former chair of the Los Angeles chapter and the current chair, Max Beach and Shelley Takahashi, respectively, are both here as adjunct faculty members. What’s great is that it strengthens our program because we have an ongoing direct link with industry.”
The IDSA focuses on furthering design quality, effectiveness and positive image. Its mission is to take the lead in the industrial design profession, mainly through networking but also by promoting education and professional development. IDSA-LA is the Los Angeles Chapter of the IDSA, the Southern California “voice” of the industrial design profession.
Teubner credits IDSA-CSULB student chapter members with helping to make the series a success. “Our IDSA student chapter is getting more and more active and one big reason for that is the head of our chapter, Isabella Ella. Isabella’s energy and enthusiasm has motivated many more students to get involved,” he said.
Teubner is pleased with the Design Department’s commitment to outreach. “Every time we reach out a little further and a little further, the benefits come back tenfold,” he said. “The word is spreading about the Design Department at CSULB. I’m in contact with alumni at least once a week and they are not hesitant about contacting me. And most of the e-mails that pass between us represent opportunities. The word is spreading. People are finding out about us. This lecture series has given us the opportunity to raise our profile.”
Teubner encourages other faculty members to reach out to the campus and surrounding community. “If you step out of this box, which is our building, and you start bringing in the outside world, one thing leads to another and one thing connects to another,” he said. “What we didn’t have when the series began was momentum. When you have a speaker every week, people know there will be a speaker every week. They know that if they can’t go this week, they can go next week. We’re starting to bring back the Los Angeles design community and Cal State Long Beach is in the thick of it.”