Dan Harden Wins the IDSA Personal Recognition Award

IDSA awards Dan Harden with the "Personal Recognition Award"

August 26, 2019

At the 2019 International Design Conference in Chicago, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) honored Dan Harden, Whipsaw founder, CEO and principal designer, with the “Personal Recognition Award” for his lifetime dedication and indelible contributions to his profession. This is the highest distinction one can receive in the field of industrial design.

Harden took the stage in complete surprise before an assembly of his esteemed peers at the Wednesday evening ceremony at Chicago’s VenueSix10. The ceremony followed a day of discussions on how design factors into topics ranging from the Internet of Things to occupational therapy.

Dan was recognized with a look back on his career—from his early days at Henry Dreyfuss Associates to his time spent as president of frog, where he developed products for luminaries like Steve Jobs. The presentation then showcased Harden’s 20 successful years at Whipsaw, the acclaimed Silicon Valley design firm he founded in 1999. Harden continues to serve as the driving force behind Whipsaw’s high impact designs. He and his team have brought over 900 of them to market for many of the top companies in the world including Brita, Cisco, Dell, Ford, GE, Google, Nike, Samsung and Uber. Whipsaw’s disruptive designs have transformed a range of sectors—from MedTech to Consumer Electronics to Robotics to Entertainment—and have won over 275 prestigious design awards.

Fast Company previously selected Harden as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business 2014,” and dubbed him “Design’s Secret Weapon.” Over the course of his prestigious career, Harden has been granted over 500 patents.

Since 1968, only 37 industrial designers have been awarded the Personal Recognition Award, including industry legends such as Jonathan Ive,  Henry Dreyfuss, Walter Dorwin Teague, Jay Doblin, George Nelson and Raymond Loewy.  “To be among this esteemed group of some of the best designers in the world, many of whom are my design heroes, is an immense honor.  Their commitment to design excellence, while also advancing our profession at large, are values I too will continue to passionately advocate,” said Harden.

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