Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 4 pm - 8pm EST


Fostering collaborations for systematic change 

As we navigate the end of a pandemic, we are rediscovering our nature for resilience, courage, and adaptability while being confronted by limitations in our personal, professional, and technological capabilities. In the new normal, we are also revisiting old and new conversations addressing long overdue issues and turning them into actions.


On the positive side, barriers that seemed insurmountable before are breaking down. More importantly, as the world becomes smaller due to the shift to virtual connectivity, more opportunities are evolving to foster collaborations across disciplines and reach far corners of the globe.


Designers now have more tools to become change-makers within the academic and professional realms through initiating, engaging, and collaborating in practices that create positive experiences. In this spirit, we are inviting contributions addressing overarching considerations in design education and practice that embrace sustainability in its broadest sense. 


Topics such as, but not limited to, social equity, diversity & inclusion, health & well-being, environmental-stewardship, and innovation, can be addressed in any of the following categories:  

Design Education

Work that engages in discourse of industrial design education, including but not limited to curriculum development, pedagogical practices, recruitment, accessibility, pandemic effects, and/or democratizing industrial design education.

Design Practice

Work that addresses the development of products, services, and systems in the realm of innovative industrial design practices.


How has the pandemic shaped and changed how we work and communicate? What are lessons learned and action items?

Crossing the Aisles

Work that brings together inter and multi-disciplinary teams including academia, industry, and community stakeholders to create experiences that continue to cross the divide, such as lessons learned, new opportunities discovered, future developments, pandemic-specific insights. 



Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA

Assistant Professor Industrial Design

Iowa State University

  • LinkedIn

Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Iowa State University. Her work focuses on the diffusion of design thinking and doing practices in design and non-design-oriented disciplines, with a focus on exploring visualization as a gateway to sketching and creative confidence, as well as design-ability.


She has taught in Germany and the U.S. at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, The Ohio State University, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Drexel University, and Iowa State University. She frequently facilitates workshops on sketchnoting, design thinking, and strategic planning in both academia and industry.


Aziza Cyamani, IDSA

Assistant Professor of Product Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • LinkedIn

Aziza Cyamani is a multidisciplinary designer with experience in user-centered design, visual communication, product development, and sustainable systems. Her education background includes a bachelor’s degree in Creative Design with a specialization in Media Design from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology and master’s degrees in Industrial Design and Sustainable Environments from Iowa State University.

Aziza's research interests center upon investigating the integration of crosscutting topics in design education, particularly focusing on semantics in regard to objects in diverse cultures, as well as social impacts of post-consumer products. Her passion is using her design skills to create entities that promote equity for all.

Aziza is originally from Kigali, Rwanda. She enjoys storytelling, a practice she grew up around, and enjoys sharing with her students. In her free time, you will find her planning adventures that include thrift shops, nature, food, and dance.