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Nick Baker

Nicholas Baker is a designer and maker currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in North Carolina, Nicholas started making at a young age in his grandfather's woodshop. After discovering his passion for art and engineering, Nicholas went on to study industrial design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He interned with a wide range of companies including Boy Scouts of America, Enventys, and HunterGatherer while in school.


After graduating in 2015 with a BFA in industrial design, Nicholas moved to Fort Worth, Texas to design full-time for Petmate Pet Products. Nicholas designed 80+ products for Petmate ranging from rubber toys to soft goods to litter boxes. He left Petmate in 2017 to pursue new opportunities in New York City. Nicholas launched a design brand, almost object, in 2017. After freelancing part-time for many years, Nicholas started a full-time industrial design studio in Brooklyn. In his free time, he enjoys experimenting in virtual reality, instagramming, and podcasting. 


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Mallory Evans

At Purdue, Mallory was interested in design research and using design to enhance the environment around us and promote a healthier lifestyle. This interest in behavior modifying design led her to represent Purdue at the 2017 Midwest District Student Merit Awards.

Once in Chicago, Mallory volunteered for Archeworks, a satellite program to teach disadvantaged youth in southside Chicago Public Schools the importance of design and design thinking. The program had after school programs for the kids during the school year and then financially enabled them to team up with different design and architecture firms around the city during the summer. Mallory believes in diversity in the design field and in finding new ways to break down barrier to entry in the design field.

Mallory co-founded ID Women Chicago with McKayla Barber, IDSA with the goal of empowering the female community of industrial designers. They hold regular events as a way for women to meet and support other women in the industrial design industry and continue ways to promote a more inclusive design community.

Mallory’s current focus is on changing design education to encourage apprenticeships, in order to support women and other minorities in the industrial design field.


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James Connors

James Connors is a freelance Industrial Designer living in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2012, he began his career designing kitchen tools and gadgets for Kitchenaid, Farberware and Reo. In 2016, he began his own design consulting practice from which he has been fortunate to consult with such brands as Peloton, Bark & Co., and Colgate-Palmolive. In his practice of design, he is driven to bring delightful interactions and compositions to everyday objects and to sketch his ideas with the same quality. He finds inspiration in music, Samurai Jack, and the yo-yo. He also co-hosts the industrial design podcast, Minor Details, with Nick Baker.

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Rotimi Solola

Rotimi Solola is an award winning Chicago-based industrial design consultant. With experience in both consulting and corporate environments, Rotimi has contributed to the successful launch of multiple products. Solola started SO design in 2017 and teaches adjunct at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before becoming an independent designer, Solola was on the Motorola Mobility cell phone design team, where he acquired much of his knowledge on bringing products to market. Outside of designing and lecturing, Solola stays involved with the design community by speaking at conferences and judging design competitions.

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Jordan Bahler

Jordan was drawn to design as a way to blend the logic of problem solving with the empathy of art. A graduate from Purdue University, she worked in the automotive safety field before joining the Delta Faucet family. In addition to designing Delta® and Brizo® products, Jordan currently serves on the Design Arts Society Board at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and on the national board of directors for the Industrial Design Society of America. She resides in a 1900s farmhouse in the heart of Indiana with her husband, three children and barn cat.

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Teddy Lu

Teddy Lu is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Purdue University where he teaches undergrad students about design research, sketching, and design methodologies. After receiving a B.F.A in Industrial Design form the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Teddy worked for Gravitytank, a design innovation consultancy based out of Chicago where he worked with multi-disciplinary teams to solve complex problem for companies such as PepsiCo, Target, and Samsung. He started teaching in 2016 and his commitment towards his students led him to create a student organization called Sketch Squad which leverages the power of visual communication and sketchnoting to help document and transfer ideas for conferences, events, and meetings. When he’s not designing and teaching, you can find him illustrating children’s books where he finds joy in inspiring the youth through the power of imagery.

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Emily Zirkle

Emily Zirkle will be giving the KeyShot 8 demo at Converge. She began working for Luxion last year to run the KeyShot Education Program.

Emily has an industrial design background – she graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program in 2017. While she used KeyShot in her undergraduate studies, Emily has learned more about KeyShot’s capabilities since working for the company, and enjoys going to universities to offer support and give demos to the students and faculty. She also created and manages KeyShot’s new Student Representative Program, and creates KeyShot curriculum material for instructors.

The demo at Converge will include an overview of KeyShot workflow, materials, lighting, animation, and what’s new in KeyShot 8. Attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a free KeyShot 8 student license!


More speaker bios to come!