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Nicholas Paredes

Adjunct Faculty, Institute of Design

Nicholas Paredes, holds a pen and stands by a desk

Nicholas Paredes is a human-centered designer, strategist, educator, and entrepreneur. He helps individuals and organizations learn to design for people using design thinking, lean-agile, and business design methodologies. Nicholas joined the Institute of Design (ID) as an Adjunct Faculty member in 2020, where he was tasked with creating and teaching an introductory class to support new master’s students as they begin their design journeys. The result is Introduction to Design Practice, where students identify topics of interest in design and project the future of design using Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political (STEEP) factors. The class combines design history with discussion of important design topics and futures studies. The class prepares students to articulate the importance of design to society.

Nicholas has a master of design degree from Northwestern University and attended the Basel School of Design and the Institute of Design as an undergraduate student. He served as a Visiting Professor with the Centro de Estudios Superiores de Diseño de Monterrey (CEDIM) Innovation Programs (2017–20) and as a lecturer at the University of Chicago (2017–18).

Industry Experience

Nicholas has been an independent designer for more than 30 years. His award-winning work extends across multiple disciplines and business sectors. He is currently User Experience Executive Director at JPMorgan Chase, where he helps others incorporate design into the product development process. His role within the Developer and Technology Specialist Product Experience team is intended to lead and influence how the organization improves the lives of customers. Nicholas also leads +human — a human-centered design office (2019–present). Current client work includes projects for the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Heartland Health Centers.

Nicholas grew his first design office, Simple Interface, from freelance work to over a dozen designers working on multi-year projects primarily for education clients (1995–2005). Eventually he refocused on the developing mobile device market, founding Modoku and quickly becoming a leader in designing and building mobile apps (2009–2012). Along the way, he served as a consultant with Grainger (2011–14) and Walgreens (2010–11). His accomplishments include the launch of Walgreens’ first Webby Award-winning mobile apps and the establishment of design teams to support projects for AFI, BMW, Esurance, and others. He also served as a mentor for Design for America (2016–2020). His presentations include “Connected Experiences” at the IDSA Midwest Design Conference (2016), and he has hosted the Connected Experiences Meetup in Chicago.

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