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Portfolio Director, Product Design

In a nutshell:

IDEO Chicago is in search of a Portfolio Director of Product Design who will help us develop strong client relationships and create meaningful connections between IDEO project teams and our clients. This person will actively manage a portfolio of work at the intersection of industrial, engineering, interaction, and software design. Physical products today are part of larger connected systems, and we need to lead our clients through this transformation of their markets and organizations by integrating state-of-the-art capabilities with human-centered design. The ideal person for this role demonstrates a combination of business savvy, product development expertise, and relationship skills with both internal and external stakeholders.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse challenges for our clients and the organization, alongside thoughtful individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

IDEO Chicago in particular is in an exciting moment of growth that you will have the potential to influence and shape. We’re helping clients launch entirely new ventures, adding new disciplines and capabilities to our studio, and incubating a new offer that’s spreading company wide: Design for Augmented Intelligence.

Once here you will:

  • Drive conversations with potential clients to understand their priorities, convey IDEO's process, and scope project proposals that ensure successful outcomes for both
  • Cultivate partnerships with existing clients to unlock new opportunities for collaboration and impact through design
  • Invest in the growth of our integrated product capabilities by supporting the learning and development of IDEO designers
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to our clients and project teams by providing strategic level guidance, coaching, and constructive critique in service of delivering world class design
  • Represent IDEO externally through speaking engagements and other media opportunities to build the brand and tell IDEO stories
  • Build and maintain a strong internal and external network

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 10+ years experience in the design industry, 5+ years in a client-facing role
  • Bachelors or Masters degree in Industrial Design, Integrated Product Design, or other relevant discipline
  • Demonstrated experience in product development, business development, creative consulting, and/or a project management capacity
  • Experience developing and leading client relationships and building lasting partnerships
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and expertise guiding teams and supporting the learning and development of individuals
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in an internal and externally-facing capacity
  • A proactive, creative problem solver that thrives in a highly collaborative, fast-paced environment
  • Experience with organizational change initiatives is a plus

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

You will collaborate with other members of IDEO Chicago’s leadership team in a variety of capacities including business development, mentoring, brand building, and craft excellence. You will make the biggest impact by developing, managing, and executing a business development strategy that capitalizes on the range of product opportunities in the market, as well as ensuring that IDEO’s design capabilities are properly represented to meet and exceed the client’s needs and expectations. You will shape projects that take advantage of the full range of diverse disciplines and capabilities at IDEO, scoping work that highlights our unique capabilities. Your skill set is critical to our work because you have the ability to both cultivate client relationships and support the development of world class designers.

Recent Work:

Much of our recent work is under NDA as we work with our clients to bring it to market. The IDEO website contains many case studies that demonstrate the breadth and depth of our projects. Below are some more abstract descriptions of recent work happening in Chicago:

  • Explored how autonomous capabilities will influence vehicle interiors and interactions by prototyping a full-scale vehicle experience that fosters conversations around trust and control.
  • Envisioned a new system to improve the lives of people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, including a O2 concentrator that better integrates into people’s lives and improves therapeutic monitoring.
  • Designed a large scale medical imaging device that reimagines the relationship between digital and physical controls and introduces an entirely new positioning system to help techs do their job with more accuracy and assurance.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please submit your resume and cover letter explaining why you are a good fit for this role.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.