Posted by Robin Marich
Filed Under Culture
IDSA: Women in Design

Last Thursday Astro opened its doors to IDSA's Women in Design Deep Dive 2019 conference. We welcomed guests and speakers to come and get to know each other a little bit before the big day.

With the help and support of IDSA, women in Industrial Design is on the rise. We got the chance on Friday at Dolby Laboratory to listen to 10 incredible female speakers, participate in an interactive workshop and meet a few other fellow designers along the way.

Here were our biggest take aways:


Find commonality when speaking with clients or co-workers. Making sure you both see and speak the same is crucial in the design process and will make it easier to adapt to later on.


Not only being true to yourself, but being true to the work will create a more unique outcome. Be passionate and curious to really find the true essence of the work.


Show me, don't tell me. When you gain the confidence of your clients or co-workers, you will have the power to make changes and the support to follow through with them.


Remember to be an inspiration to others so that they in turn follow your model and then spread the word.


We often want to jump ahead to the final product, but learning to have patience, talking to others and getting real quantitive data to back up your decisions will create less friction in the end.

Quick highlight of the afternoon with Shujan Bertrand, Isabelle Olsson, and Laura Silva.

Shujan showed us the importance of process and how one connection can lead to many. Using her personal journey as a way of guiding us through her work and maintaining a zero waste company. It was inspiring to see her collection flourish from a single golden rectangle and then use the art of origami to establish a line of unique bags and branding. Being creative with the scraps and upcycling materials has kept her true to her mission of letting nothing go to waste. We also loved and appreciated the shoutout from a former Astro Alumni.

Isabelle explains to us how Design Thinking is passé and we are now in an era of Design Feeling. How did it make you feel becomes a much stronger statement than what do you think. Isabelle showed us her desk at Google where she keeps objects for a length of time to see how they resinate with her, as well as simple techniques of painting your nails the same color as the product to see how it makes you feel in a day or week and in different lighting. Her unique sensibility has led to some interesting results and ability to relate to engineers, designers and customers by speaking the same metaphor has created a unified family of products.

Laura Silva brings her enthusiasm and confidence to the forefront to represent an under represented group of people. She talks about the intersectionality of design in not only a heavily male dominated industry but also the lack of women of color. Being aware of this can have an impact on the people you're representing if they're not being seated at the table. Establishing this can help create a familiarity and belongingness if you see yourself reflected back. Having a diverse team lets you reach people of all different walks of life.