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Professor Emeritus of Product Design/Development
Former Associate Director

University of Illinois Chicago Innovation Center


Professional Summary

Stephen Melamed, FIDSA, is an industrial designer, design educator and expert witness (POSITA/DOSA) experienced at navigating challenging situations and projects, collaborating with and bringing together multiple disciplines to create a culture of innovation. Current focus is collaborating with legal teams maneuvering the complex landscape of intellectual property disputes, a comprehensive understanding of IP law and a solid record of successful litigation support, including being prepared for deposition as well as for testimony and cross-examination.

Stephen Melamed began his studies in theoretical physics at Boston University and later received a Masters Degree with distinction in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Melamed was also an apprentice to Bauhaus designer/artist/author Werner Graeff. He has been awarded a Design Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities and was privileged to study with R. Buckminster Fuller for World Game. He authored By Design: Museum Environments for All and was a speaker at the First International Interdisciplinary Design Conference at the United Nations in New York City. Design Intelligence named him (2010) one of the nation’s top 25 most admired design educators. New City Magazine named him one of the Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago 2015. In 2016, Professor Melamed was inducted into the Academy of Fellows of the Industrial Designers Society of America. In 2017 he was named President of the International Society for Design Thinking (ISDT) based in Beijing, China and through the public/private partnership of the Chinese Ministry of Education and IEG (Innovation Excellence Group) was invited to China for a lecture tour and Design Thinking Workshop. Melamed was the Keynote Speaker, XI International Congress for Design Management & Technology, Mexico City in 2017.

Over the past five plus decades Melamed has worked in manufacturing, corporate, not-for-profit and consulting. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Industrial Design and Interdisciplinary Product Development (IPD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and former Associate Director of the IPD Program at the UIC Innovation Center. He is also the Founding Chair of the UIC Industrial Design Department in the School of Design. In 2011, he was honored as the IDSA Midwest Educator of the Year. He was a founding member of the not-for-profit AIGA national design advocacy group, Design for Democracy (D4D) and has served on its Board of Directors. Melamed has written numerous articles on the topics of innovation, industrial design, interdisciplinary product development, design thinking and design research and has been a featured lecturer at universities and conferences both domestically and abroad. His personal archives have been donated and are now in the UIC Library – Design Special Collections. Melamed is also an LSP (Lego® Serious Play) Certified Facilitator.



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