Industrial Designers Society of America

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Walter Dorwin Teague (1883—1960)

Henry Dreyfuss (1904—1972)


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(established 1965)

The roots of IDSA can be traced back to a number of earlier organizations set up before the Second World War. These included the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC), founded in 1928, the National Furniture Designers' Council (NFDC) which lasted from 1933 to 1934, and the Designers' Institute of the American Furniture Mart, founded in 1936. Two years later the latter formed the Chicago‐based American Designers Institute (ADI), which drew on a much wider range of specialist expertise, ranging from industrial design to graphics and the decorative arts under the presidency of John Vassos. In 1951 ADI moved its administration to New York, changed its name to the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI), and established an annual programme of National Design Awards which ran until 1965. However, rather more significant was the Society of Industrial Designers (SID), which was founded in 1944 by fifteen designers who were well grounded in industrial design practice. Under the presidency of Walter Dorwin Teague the SID sought to establish a firm platform to advance recognition of the professional designer in the rapidly exanding and competitive market places of the post‐war era. The SID became the American Society of Industrial Designers (ASID) in 1957,, the same year in which the Industrial Design Education Association (IDEA) was founded as neither of the professional bodies admitted educators. By 1965 these three bodies had between them a membership of about 600 representing a wide spectrum of professional interests relating to industrial design and they merged to become the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Its first chair was John Vassos and first president Henry Dreyfuss. In 1980 the annual National Design Awards were re‐established. Membership in 2000 amounted to more than 3,000.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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