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Thank you!

Design Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021, and it was a banner year for the organization. In 2021, we more than doubled the amount of funds we raised in 2020, thanks to the generosity of individual donors and corporate match partners Whipsaw, American Standard, Metaphase, and Teague. We are incredibly grateful for this outpouring of support. To all our donors, partners, and volunteer supporters: Thank you for contributing to Design Foundation. Because of you, we look forward to expanding our programming and growing our impact in 2022.

We also want to thank Design Foundation’s Board of Trustees: Board President Dee Dunn, IDSA, Vice-President Maureen Carroll, IDSA, Secretary/Treasurer Qin Li, IDSA, and Trustees Michelle Berryman, FIDSA, and Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA. Your leadership and commitment make the path to achieving our goals possible, from introducing industrial design to more students in grades K-12 through college to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in all we do.

After repositioning in 2020, Design Foundation has grown stronger and more dedicated than ever to increasing access to industrial design education, resources, and opportunities. When we look ahead to 2022 and beyond, we're excited to continue efforts to bridge current industry gaps and connect with organizations and individuals who are committed to bringing about real change in the design education space.

2021 Highlights


Design Foundation awarded two $3,000 scholarships in 2021. These scholarships help students at the earliest stages of their design careers by providing much needed financial support. 

Congratulations to the 2021 Undergraduate recipient Seunghark Cho (left) and 2021 Gianninoto Graduate recipient Pedro Villar (right). Both study at ArtCenter College of Design.

Bright Spark Challenge

Design Foundation was a proud sponsor of the 2021 Bright Spark Invention Challenge "Best Prototype" Award. The Invention Challenge is a free and virtual entrepreneurial innovation competition for 4th-12th grade students. 

Students from around the world used the design thinking process to identify a real-world problem, empathize, ideate, and prototype a physical invention for "The Future of Home."

Congratulations to Miky, a 7th grader from Kevalee International School in Bangkok, Thailand, for receiving the "Best Prototype" Award and Best Overall Middle School Project this year!

DEI Event Access Program

Now in its second year, and as part of our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, our DEI Event Access program continues to build momentum. This program offers underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals complimentary registration to IDSA events.


In 2021, 63 individuals received complimentary registration to conferences hosted by IDSA, including the International Design Conference and four Deep Dives: Women in Design, Sustainability, Getting It Made, and Business of Design.


To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Design Foundation and invest in the future of industrial design, IDSA gave $50,000 to Design Foundation in 2021.

Since Design Foundation began with a gift from IDSA in 2001, the Society is pleased to reinforce its commitment to Design Foundation programming and bolster its offerings for years to come.


In 2021, we introduced a new Design Foundation website (the one you are looking at now!) and social media channels with a refreshed visual brand system. This effort brings new life to the organization and helps to significantly improve Design Foundation’s online presence. 

Follow Design Foundation on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to be the first to know about the Foundation’s latest news and updates.


We are so thankful to everyone who has donated to Design Foundation over the years, and especially in 2021. Your generosity speaks volumes about what you value in Design Foundation’s programs and mission, both now and for the future.

2021 Fundraising Stats

  • $28,000 raised

  • 205 unique donors (individuals and companies combined)

  • Average donation amount was $105

  • 45% of donations came from IDSA members

  • 55% of donations came from non-IDSA members

  • 5% of donors were companies

Design Foundation's Impact

"The Design Foundation Gianninoto scholarship gave me incredibly valuable recognition that encourages me to be confident about my design voice. It sparked a deep desire within me to share my vision through design and continue developing pieces that connect with people and make them notice and question their behavior."
- Pedro Villar, ArtCenter College of Design
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"The scholarship really helped me reduce the burden of high tuition. It also made me recognized by various design studios. In fact, I am currently talking to a few companies for potential internships and even full-time positions."
- Seunghark Cho, ArtCenter College of Design
"LIXIL Global Design is pleased to support the Design Foundation annual drive. We are committed to supporting the education and training of an inclusive and diverse future generation of designers.”
- Jean-Jacques L’henaff, IDSA, LIXIL
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"Gifting to design education is not only good for the future of our profession, but it gives promising young talent a chance to flourish and take flight.”
- Dan Harden, IDSA, Whipsaw
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A special thank you to our generous corporate partners 

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