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Human-centered design for the mobile market

November 19, 2015
6:00-8:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design, 6th floor
350 N La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60654

Two human-centered mobile product design projects. Two successful Kickstarter campaigns. Two new-to-the-world innovations for the seemingly saturated mobile space. TidyTilt, a set of extension products to improve enjoyment and convenience of the iPhone, was the first Kickstarter-started company to be acquired when it was purchased by Logitech in 2013. The Light Phone, a credit-card sized phone that does nothing more than make and receive calls, sent ripples through media and tech blogs with its claim to be the phone "designed to be used as little as possible".

Join IDSA Chicago for a panel with two companies started by IIT Institute of Design alumni, Kaiwei Tang and Zahra Tashakorinia. Both create products that are not only beautiful, but that solve real problems. Discussion will focus on how to develop a systemic business model that puts real human needs at the center.

Doors open at 6pm for a cocktail reception. The panel begins at 6:30pm.

About Kaiwei Tang

Kai has 10 years experience in product design and development in the mobile phone industry. As a product lead, he has traveled around the world to bring over 12 mobile products of Motorola, Nokia, and BlackBerry to life. His background includes a Master of Design Methods from IIT Institute of Design, as well as a master of business administration. His believes in the importance of human-centered design which led him to ID.

After graduated from IIT Institute of Design, he founded the Light Phone in Google’s inaugural incubator for designer in New York City in 2014 thus launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 that achieved the funding goal within a week and received preorders and international presses from 71 different countries.

He currently acts as Co-Founder/Co-CEO for the Light Phone and has just expanded the team with an acquisition of a cloud software company. He also serves as an advisor for early stage start-ups.

About Zahra Tashakorinia 

With the help of Kickstarters, Zahra was able to launch her first product, TidyTilt, in early 2012 and established a design firm, TT Design Labs, in the process. Soon after the startup was acquired by Logitech and  Zahra joined a small executive team to build and develop the Smart Phone Business Group. As a product manager leading design and innovation, she uses design thinking and design strategy processes to identify new business opportunities and product ideas and planning and managing new product development. 

Before Logitech, Zahra worked on product design at SC Johnson, Sears, and the Clorox Company. She received her BFA and MFA focusing on product design and design research at University of Tehran before graduating from IIT Institute of Design with a Master of Design in 2012.