Back to All Events

Rapid Fire Speakers



Gerard Furbershaw, IDSA | Principal, SmithFurbershaw,  | Cofounder Emeritus, LUNAR

Why are there so few industrial designers still doing hands-on design in the latter stages of their careers? Having entered that phase of his career himself, Gerard Furbershaw, IDSA, has pondered that question over the past few years. Through serendipitous events, he had the opportunity to learn current CAD and rendering tools. These newly acquired skills enabled him to return to his roots and reexperience the passion he had for design when he entered the profession.

Furbershaw will share his professional journey, which began almost 40 years ago. Although most members of our profession are much younger, he presumes that he isn’t alone in having been pulled away from the work he truly loved. He believes his journey may prompt others to question if their current positions can be more emotionally fulfilling by incorporating hands-on design into their work activities.


A Different Approach on Innovation: Bending Constraints

Lloyd Cooper, IDSA | Principal | PUSH Product Design

Every design solution is a function of our ability to fully utilize available resources. This applies whether we work at a massive organization or as a one-person start-up. What if we actually have more resources around us than we realize? What if there was a different perspective that we could adopt that could enhance our ability to create?

Lloyd Cooper’s design perspective was shaped by his mom, who studied design at Parsons, and his dad, who was a naval architect and an engineer. In this session, he will share a story that his dad told him from his experiences in the Normandy Invasion in WWII. This story became the foundation for Cooper’s own continuous learning to fully leverage available resources and bend constraints to create breakthrough solutions.



Jonah Becker | VP of Design | Fitbit

We are in the midst of a health revolution, with technologies once reserved for the doctor’s office now on our wrists and in our pockets. We can monitor our bodies every hour of every day, but powerful sensors and lots of data are not enough to change health. Data only becomes valuable when leveraged to provide people with insights, motivation and guidance along their ever-changing health journeys. We must design products and experiences that are personalized, engaging, and inspire the behavior changes that lead to positive health outcomes.


Design for Resilience: Lessons from New Orleans on Adapting to a Changing Climate

Colleen McHughSenior Adaptation Planner | The Water Institute of the Gulf

Turning on the Weather Channel is like watching the Olympics—records are being shattered east and west for the highest temperatures, wettest storms and fastest fires. Climate change is here and we are seeing how it impacts lives and livelihoods in communities around the world. Due to the region’s dynamic coastal landscape, New Orleans and South Louisiana are experiencing the effects of climate change in advance of other cities and regions. Adapting to these challenges in a smart way can create other opportunities for communities to thrive. Colleen McHugh will share how New Orleans and the surrounding region have set a vision for a more resilient future in the face of the changing environment and share lessons for how designers can approach climate change.

Earlier Event: September 20
Coffee Break
Later Event: September 20
Keynote | Design for Diversity