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University of Illinois

Chicago Associate Director UIC Innovation Center


Prof. Stephen Melamed, FIDSA, is an industrial designer and design educator experienced at navigating complex situations and projects, collaborating with and bringing together multiple disciplines to create a culture of innovation. He 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. He has been awarded a Design Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities and was privileged to study with R. Buckminster Fuller at World Game (1981). 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 in 1981. Design Intelligence named Melamed (2010) one of the nation’s top 25 most admired design educators.


In 2011, he was honored as the IDSA Midwest Educator of the Year. New City Magazine named Melamed one of the Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago 2015. In 2016, Melamed was inducted into the IDSA Academy of Fellows (Industrial Designers Society of America). In 2017 he was named President of the International Society for Design Thinking (ISDT) based in Beijing, China a public/private partnership of the Chinese Ministry of Education and Fassino Academy. He is named as an inventor/co-inventor on 62 U.S. Patents. In 2017 his archive became part of the UIC Library Design Special Collections.


Over the past four plus decades Melamed has worked in manufacturing, corporate, not-for-profit and consulting. He is currently Clinical Professor/Founding Chair of the Industrial Design Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Product Development Program (IPD) at the UIC Innovation Center. Melamed 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. He has written articles on the topics of innovation, industrial design, design education, interdisciplinary product development, design thinking and design research and has been a featured lecturer at universities and conferences both domestically and abroad. In addition to his duties at UIC, he is a Founder and Principal of the Columbus, Ohio based Industrial Design consulting firm, PlusD2, Inc. (formerly Tres Design Group). The firm has received a number of national and international design awards, as well as an IDEA Silver Medal for design excellence.



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