Students design bag for Red Bull bike messenger

Red Bull

Industrial design faculty member Ted Burdett (from left), contest winners Felipe Garcia, Michael Diaz and Fiba Kelani; Red Bull-sponsored bike messenger Nico Cabrera and Daniel McKewen, creator and creative director of Seagull Bags.

By Betsy Butterworth —

Nico Cabrera, the Red Bull-sponsored Chicago bike messenger, needed a new bag to carry his deliveries. That’s when the global energy drink firm turned to UIC’s School of Design for their expertise.

Ted Burdett, industrial design alumnus and current faculty member, partnered with Red Bull for an industrial and graphic design student competition.

In just 10 days, 19 teams of undergraduate and graduate students listened to Cabrera’s needs, then began working feverishly on prototypes to create a bag for the messenger. His requirements: hold legal file boxes, secure envelopes, handle sweat and all types of weather and keep his back from being sore.

Each team had only three minutes to convince Cabrera that their bag was the one for him during an event April 8 at the Innovation Center. All the prototypes were well thought out and it was difficult to choose, Cabrera said.

The winning bag was designed by students Felipe Garcia, Michael Diaz and Fiba Kelani. Their bag provided an expandable interior, exterior pockets and adjustable “spider straps” on the back that could clip to the front to hold large, bulky packages.

The winners each receive a personal sewing machine.

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