Chicago Design Employment & Community

Hi all,

I’m working on a research assignment for my Professional Practice course in design. I was assigned to look into Chicago as a city for a recent college graduate to move to, and enter the design workforce.

I would appreciate insight from folks who are living as designers in Chicago, especially those who started their careers recently.

-How would you characterize the design community there?
-How are the local IDSA and AIGA chapters-- do they get together and DO stuff?
-What corporations are headquartered in Chicago, who have in-house design groups? (industrial, graphic, interaction)
-I’m also having trouble finding User Interface design jobs in Chicago-- is there a company or design firm that happens to specialize in this field?

Thanks to anybody who can help me with some input.

-Bill Bernstein
carnegie mellon

AIGA Chicago: http://www.aigachicago.org/html/main/mainmenu.html
Yes they have very good events. I don’t think it will pick up again till January though.

Motorola was looking for an interaction designer this fall. I’m sure there are others

-How would you characterize the design community there?

Vibrant, diverse, growing.

-How are the local IDSA and AIGA chapters-- do they get together and DO stuff?

Can’t speak for AIGA, but IDSA is active and sponsors a lot of events. Syd Mead is speaking this friday, in fact. http://www.idsachicago.org

-What corporations are headquartered in Chicago, who have in-house design groups? (industrial, graphic, interaction)

As far as product, a few off the top of my head are Motorola, ACCO, Sanford, Whirlpool is not too far away. Many consulting forms.

-I’m also having trouble finding User Interface design jobs in Chicago-- is there a company or design firm that happens to specialize in this field?

Look here for info:

Thanks for your input folks, those links and comments are very helpful!

On the topic of Motorola, it seems as if their headquarters are located in a town pretty far northwest of Chicago-- does the company actually have design offices in Chicago itself? Can’t find anything on it.

Thanks again!

Most of the manufacturers are not in the City. Maybe that’s why you are having trouble locating employment.

Expect 50-80 minute commute if you insist on working in the city… Lots of folks do it… or find a consultancy in the city.

Just found this:

Distant Horizon, an established web site development firm in the Chicago
suburb of LaGrange, is seeking a contract-to-permanent interactive designer=
.
You must have strong design and html experience. Flash is a bonus. Viable
candidates will present a portfolio of live web sites along with their
resum=E9 and hourly rates. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with a
dedicated team, with the potential for great benefits and a stable work
environment.=20

• 80 Chicago candidates only. Must work on-site.

• 80 Please visit http://www.distanthorizon.com to learn more about our work.

• 80 Contact abigail@distanthorizon.com / no phone calls please

Motorola has it’s main campuses in the Northwest Suburbs, with multiple satellite campuses around the Chicago suburbs, however their design studios are in the heart of downtown Chicago, on Michigan ave. This studio is known as the CXD-- Consumer eXperience Division.

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