Chicago as Design and Innovation hub

Hi All

Could anyone please tell me which all company headquarters and Design+ Innovation companies are situated in Chicago? I am interested in forging a career in Design and Innovation in the mid-west.

I have 6 years of experience as a designer and am completing my MBA with Strategy and Innovation major from one of the top 5 programs in the US.



With all due respect, shouldn’t you be able to figure this out on your own considering your nearly completed MBA in strategy and innovation?


Youch JNH. Seems a bit harsh don’t you think?

Hey Qwerty. Where are you completing your studies? Do they have inroads?

Gravity Tank is one I know of (not familiar with the area). Not sure how object oriented their work is, they seem to be going the IDEO route, but they get bonus points for the sweetest metaphor and logo for a consultancy!

As Cameron pointed out, for consultancies, Gravity Tank is top dog at the moment. We will see if they have the typical Chicago rise and fall like every other consultancy in Chicago for the last 25 years.

For companies, there is not much for big dogs. Boeing is executive class only, no R&D. Abbott and Baxter have also killed R&D and typically only acquire new products. Motorola/Google/Lenovo is anyone’s guess. I hear (fwiw) Navistar tends to churn and burn its designers and engineers.

Some startups around and smaller companies with medical devices, but not much in terms of consumer electronics, shoes, cars, or most consumer products.

To be fair, he’s nearly completed the MBA and so maybe he’s too busy with that. Surely you’ve motivated him to complete his degree now having shown the many benefits the extra free time will enable him to troll design forums.

… and maybe, when he’s burned out on trolling design forums, he can peruse Core77’s Design Directory… filtered by field of interest?

For pointing out the irony of the OP’s question, I’m trolling design forums?


Sorry if that came off the wrong way, it just seemed like a very strange question with your background. I guess if you’re trolling for jobs… that’s probably a textbook approach :mrgreen:



SRAM has its headquarters here in Chicago.
Gravity Tank - previously mentioned.
Scott Wilson’s firm MNML is in the west loop.
I believe there are two IDEO offices? One in Evanston and one down town.
Lunar has a small office down town.
Life Fitness (Brunswick) has its design headquarters right outside the city.
Teams Design.
Webb deVlam.
Cesaroni (north suburbs).
Beyond Design.
Choi Design.
I’m sure there are others I’m missing…

The design community here is great. We’d love to have you!