A group of nominated students met Tuesday of this week to go over high level plans for the 2014 Design Research Conference. Conversations mainly focused on differentiating layout and engagement opportunities from previous years. To step back for outside parties, the DRC is a yearly conference put on by ID students which brings in all sorts of professionals, alumni, students, and other design community members to discuss a collection of topics focused around design research (see info about the 2013 DRC here... Core77 always does these cool sketch summaries as well). That said, this year there has already been talk about opening the conference up to adjacent fields and possibly using our time together to tackle a specific challenge/problem with the benefit of interdisciplinary teams. In this light, a conference could be broken down into several different types of interactions... from small workshops to keynote speakers to get everyone primed and creative juices flowing. We're still just coming up with ideas, so no official thoughts yet, moreso just interesting considerations!
Personally, I would love to see the DRC become more accessible to IIT students and other surrounding colleges, to help introduce the college and grow an interest in the Chicago student community. That said, having more students there doesn't necessarily benefit the graduate students of ID as much as having those same spots filled by professions (networking opportunities...cough cough), so who knows how that will inevitably pan out.