Early in the fall of 1956, Mr. Harry Meinert, Supervisor of Drafting for the Illinois State Board Education’s Department of Adult Vocational and Technical Education (I.S.B.E. – D.A.V.T.E.), Springfield, encouraged Robert Bokenkamp, a drafting instructor at Champaign Senior High School to survey secondary school drafting instructors in the State of Illinois. His purpose was to determine if there was any interest in providing organized input into programming for the Illinois Vocational Assoication – Illinois Industrial Education Association (I.V.A. – I.I.E.A.) sectional meetings on drafting. At that time there were approximately 90 drafting instructors downstate with another 150 in the city of Chicago. Nearly 50% of those teachers held membership in the IVA-IIEA and attended its state convention and meetings held every other year. Alternate years the American Vocational Association (A.V.A.) held its national convention and meetings. The results of this survey indicated a majority of the instructors supported the formation of an organization to provide the IVA-IIEA program input and, possibly, a series of drafting teacher workshops. Survey results were presented at the IVA-IIEA Drawing Teachers Sectional Meeting held at the Hotel Sherman in Chicago on April 5, 1957. At that meeting, a committee was appointed to prepare a slate of officers and hold an election by mail. Those elected were: President – Hugh Reid of Danville High School, Secretary – James Banks of Alton Senior High School and Treasurer – John Cavanagh of United Township High School in Moline. Serving on the nominating committee were: Elizabeth Miller of Edwardsville, Warren Koerner of Chicago, Henry Meinert of Springfield and Robert Bokenkamp of Champaign. The first meeting was held at the IVA Convention in the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis on February 28, 1958. The program consisted of a panel speaking on, “Current Trends In Drafting”. Topics touched on included: “What Industry Requires”, “Demands in Architectural Drawing”, and “Commercial Art in Industry”. A committee of James Crowe, George Senteney and John Hawse was appointed to recommend a name and check for conflicts with state and national organizations. The 1957 officers were re-elected for a second term in 1958. Since the newly formed organization had not determined the amount of dues to be collected, a voluntary collection yielded $35.21. Door prizes were contributed by Grammercy Company (2 beam compasses) and Post Company (6, Tru-Up T-squares). Dietzgen Company provided room service for a planning meeting of the officers, the Post paid for dinner for the officers and guest speakers. Grammercy served coffee throughout the main meeting. A committee chaired by Robert Bokenkamp made plans with Mark Klopp, Elmo Ricci and Warren Koehner to organize a workshop with the theme, “Upgrading Instruction in Drawing through New Techniques, New Processes and New Materials.” On October 10 and 11 in 1958, the first drafting workshop was held at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. The evening session began at 8:00 p.m. Jack Kitchen of Lakeview High School in Decatur presented, “Airbrush Techniques in the Drafting Room”. Dr. Robert Tinkham of the University of Illinois in Urbana spoke on “Simplified Drafting”. Clinton Carlstrom of New Trier East High School in Winnetka demonstrated “Architectural Models”. Hubert Reid of Danville High School demonstrated, “How to Compile an AIA File”. Finally, Ken Paulson of Aurora East demonstrated, “Plastic Models”. At the Saturday session, Thomas Brownfield, drafting technician with Continental Can in Chicago was the keynote speaker. He was follwed by Professor R.P. Hoelscher from the University of Illinois at Urbana who spoke on, “The Significance of American Drawing Standards for High School Teachers”. The final presentation was made by the Charles Bruning Company of Chicago. It was titled, “Drawing Reproduction in Color”. Five months later the assoication made notable progress when they met with the IVA on March 20, 1959 at the Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria. A constitution was adopted and a vote was taken to accept the organizational title of the Illinois Technical Drafting Teachers Association – I.T.D.T.A.. The word drawing was eliminated to avoid confusion with art instructors. The workshop program included, “Graphic Illustration by Fredrick Jantz, a Senior Design Group Leader in Product Engineering with the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors Corporation in Lansing, Michigan. L. Morgan Yost, an architect from Kenilworth spoke on, “Home Design and Construction for Modern Living”. The association again took voluntary contributions until the Allerton Park , Monticello, meeting where, on November 19, 1960, the constitution was amended to provide for an annual dues structure of $2.00 per member. The organization’s name was changed to the Illinois Drafting Educators Association – IDEA at the fall meeting of 1986.  In 2017 the organization’s name was changed to the Illinois Design Educators Association to reflect current teaching and industry standards. Our organization’s constitution was last revised in 2013.

IDEA Calendar

  • ITEC-IDEA Conference: November 8th - 9th, 2019
  • Regional Competition: Feb 17 - March 6, 2020
  • State Competition: April 18, 2020


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