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exploreID: New to Design

November 10, 2020
7:00-8:30pm CST
Co-authors of 101 Things I Learned in Product Design School discuss the principles of design and the design school experience with students.

Design educators Martin Thaler and Sung Jang, co-authors of 101 Things I Learned in Product Design School (Crown, October 2020), discuss the principles of design, why they’re important, and the design school experience with current and former students in a Zoom conversation. Thaler, studio professor at ID, and Jang, chair of industrial design at UIC, will tackle the ever-present questions of who and what design is for—as well as why we design—with students in undergraduate (UIC) and graduate (ID) design programs. Panelists will reveal pivotal moments in their design education, the surprising things they have learned in their design programs, and how these lessons apply outside the design world. Join us for an opportunity to get a snapshot of design education from both students and teachers.

About the panelists:

Martin Thaler has taught product design and environmental design at ID full-time since 2008. Keenly interested in the fundamentals of design, he provides students with real-world opportunities in hospitals, schools, businesses, and other institutions so that they can experience how design can make a difference in people’s lives. In addition to 101 Things I Learned in Product Design School, Martin contributed a chapter, “Bauhaus Products for Our Time,” to Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019) in celebration of the Bauhaus centenary. He also advised on ID’s collaborative research project with Fortune magazine, “100 Great Designs of Modern Times.” Martin led multidisciplinary teams at IDEO for 12 years, where clients included Baxter, DaimlerChrysler,, Gateway, Lilly, McDonald’s, Motorola, Nanosphere, and Steelcase. Previously, he co-founded Design Logic with David Gresham, where clients included Bang&Olufsen, RC Computer, and View-Master.

Sung Jang is a designer and artist whose work explores the interplay between the two disciplines, resulting in creations that blur boundaries and fit seamlessly into both. Sung strives to go beyond function and initiate dialogues regarding design’s roles and capabilities in social, cultural, emotional, artistic realms. He has worked with international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Guzzini, and Roche Bobois and been represented internationally at Venice Biennale, Design Miami, Victoria and Albert Museum, Volume Gallery, Armory Show, and Chamber NYC, among others.

Emmanuella Ben-Eboh has a bachelor’s degree in industrial and product design from UIC and is currently a student in the MDes + MBA dual-degree program at ID. She believes in the power of design to create systems, shape worlds, and rebuild economies. Under the guidance of Sung and Marty, she has seen how minuscule ideas translate into the vast realities of how we live and go through life.

Spencer Melgreen is a student in the undergraduate industrial and product design program at UIC and a research and facilities assistant at the UIC Innovation Center learning about the world he experiences and will eventually build.

R. McKinley Sherrod (moderator) is a researcher and systems designer in her final semester of ID’s Foundation + MDes program. Her work uses design methods to disrupt power in pursuit of more equitable futures. With an undergraduate degree in sociology and gender studies, McKinley credits Marty with anything she knows about product design.

About exploreID: What do we mean when we say ‘design’? Through exploreID, students, community members, partners, and the curious public explore design at IIT Institute of Design (ID) through different lenses and projects, and alumni are invited to reconnect.

IIT Institute of Design (ID) builds responsible, cooperative, intelligent futures. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy as The New Bauhaus in 1937, ID is known for pioneering human-centered design and systems design. Today ID is home to the only US design school devoted completely to graduate students. But ID is more than a graduate school. ID is an international community of learners and practitioners who are addressing the biggest issues of our time by eliciting a power unique to humans: creativity. Learn more about ID at