Designer keeps UIC’s winning streak alive

photo/rendering of Muse Bluetooth speaker

Nicholas Savidge’s award-winning work includes designs for a Bluetooth speaker (above) and sportswear.

Nicholas Savidge felt the pressure to keep UIC’s winning streak alive, and his outstanding design work lived up to the challenge.

For the third year in a row, a UIC design student has won the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) Midwest District Conference Student Merit Award. Savidge will be honored in August at the 2016 IDSA International Conference in Detroit. The 2015 winner, UIC alumna Rotimi Solola, is now a designer at Motorola and UIC’s 2014 winner, Jillian Tackaberry, is a designer with MNML.

Nick Savidge

“My first inspiration is always the people I design for,” says Nicholas Savidge, who graduated with his bachelor’s degree in industrial design May 7.

“I had some big shoes to fill,” said Savidge, who received his bachelor’s degree in industrial design May 7. “You don’t want to be the one who breaks that streak.

“I’ve never had that natural talent. I’ve always had to put a lot of work and hours into really honing my craft. It’s a great honor to be recognized for all of the hard work you’ve put into your projects.”

Savidge was honored after showcasing three unique industrial design projects at the IDSA Midwest conference.

His projects included designs for a Bluetooth speaker, Dark Knight-branded audio recorder and pen and sportswear for a professional track athlete.

“My first inspiration is always the people I design for,” he said. “I like to involve people in the entirety of the process. With the speaker, for example, it’s less about the speaker and more about the experience people have with their music.”

Savidge, who grew up in Algonquin, hopes to find a consulting job in Chicago.

“It’s a great city, and one of the better design cities,” he said.

Savidge said he will miss UIC but hopes to become a mentor to undergrads after he’s established his career.

“I know I will always be a part of a network and have a great relationship with UIC and the faculty,” he said.

His advice for students just beginning their collegiate careers this fall?

“Do what makes you excited — if you end up doing projects that you aren’t excited about, that can tell in your work,” he said.

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