High-end fashion designer Issey Miyake, who made black turtleneck shirts for Steve Jobs, was in his early 40s and ran a studio in Tokyo when he showed his designs in 1979 at the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA). Years before him, as the IDCA evolved from hosting discussions about design to broader design issues and specific topics, attendees heard artists, scientists, educators, and industry leaders like George Nelson, Betty Friedan, Susan Sontag, and Gloria Steinem speak. Aspen became the place for intellectual discourse. Other conferences that later followed suit, like TED, grew out this model. Launched in 1951 by mostly graphic designers and business people, the annual IDCA ran for 35 years and maintained its core mission to invite well-known names in business and design like Miyake, who was part of a contingent of speakers that year from Japan, to participate. Now in its place is the Aspen Design Summit.
A valuable resource for researchers looking for primary sources about 20th century designers, or insight about the relationship between design and change, are records, transcripts, and other materials from IDCA. These IDCA Archival materials can be found in ArchiveGrid along with collections institutions hold of some of the people who spoke at the event.