Hines College Students Organizations You Should Know: Student Industrial Design Society of America (SIDSA)

Creating a community and paving the way for future designers

by Symone Daniels • April 17, 2023

It should come as no surprise that the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design operates one of the top-ranked industrial design (ID) programs in the United States and the world. Inspired by the human experience, the program develops product designs ranging from household items to transportation vehicles focused on improving our everyday lives.

The ID program is different from the College's other disciplines. While many Hines College student organizations support all students' experiences, the Student Industrial Design Society of America (SIDSA) is dedicated to helping ID students, organizing professional development opportunities, conferences, and exhibitions. Their annual ID Exhibition opens Friday, May 5, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., at the Hines College.

Hines College writer Symone Daniels recently spoke with Marina Latto, current SIDSA co-president, to learn more about the organization.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Marina Latto, SIDSA Co-President; Akanksha Bhatia, Social Media Manager; And Haleigh Esene, Treasurer

Symone Daniels: When was the SIDSA founded?
Marina Latto: SIDSA was founded at UH in the fall of 2005. At our founding, we were the first and only student branch of the national professional organization IDSA in Texas. Since then, only the University of Texas at Austin has started another student branch. SIDSA remains the only industrial design student organization at Hines College and serves as a social and professional hub for the industrial design program.

SD: What is the organization's mission?
ML: SIDSA's core values are community, development, and networking. Our preeminent mission is supporting upcoming designers in Houston.

SD: How does SIDSA bring awareness to the organization?
Our most prominent method of communication is through our Instagram (@idxuh), run by our outstanding social media director Akanksha Bhatia. We also print physical graphics to post on campus, send email blasts, and encourage our officers to attend college-wide events (Welcome Day, student organization fairs, etc.) to spread the word.

SD: How is industrial design evolving with today's society?
ML: Industrial design continues to evolve rapidly in just about every way. Generally, industrial design merges the digital and physical space, whereas these two disciplines were distinct specialties prior. Studying something that, even as students, we could set field-wide standards throughout our careers is exhilarating. 

"Anyone interested in joining a design-oriented community should join our organization ...While SIDSA primarily serves as a professional development organization, we host many community-building social activities to build camaraderie and offer stress-relieving outlets."

Top to Bottom: Sidsa hosts the idesign conference in the hines college atrium; members working together in the keeland lab

SD: Why should people join SIDSA?
ML: Anyone interested in joining a design-oriented community should join our organization. Regardless of skill level or special interests, we try to give our members the tools they need to thrive. While SIDSA primarily serves as a professional development organization, we host many community-building social activities to build camaraderie and offer stress-relieving outlets. 

SD: How does the organization empower its members?
ML: As officers, our most incredible tool is communication. We actively get feedback from our members through surveys and one-on-one/group conversations to determine their needs. These conversations allow us to understand our constituents' thoughts about our events and voice their current struggles or interests. Using that feedback, we can plan our events to further empower our members with anything they need.

SD: What advice would you give students considering joining SIDSA?
ML: I would advise anyone considering joining our organization to stop by a general meeting! We host these on the first Wednesday of every month to recap recent events and make any announcements. Members usually stick around after the meeting to play games or socialize with their classmates, creating a great time to chat with other people about their experiences and get a feel for what our SIDSA is all about. You could also email us at or message us on Instagram (@idxuh) if you have any questions. We are always happy to help.

Marina Latto – Co-President of SIDSA –
Akanksha Bhatia – Social Media Manger –
Haleigh Esene – Treasurer –


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