Hello, I’m Steve Schwall

Partner and Executive Director, Mobility,IDEO Chicago

My background in industrial design and mechanical engineering means my favorite times at IDEO are in the shop making prototypes. I also collaborate with clients and teams to understand the intersection of emerging technology and user needs, and define products, systems, and experiences that help companies stay ahead. I’m passionate about creating holistic solutions to gnarly challenges, which often means helping companies figure out how to work together in new ways.

What you won’t learn from my bio:
My love of learning has resulted in all sorts of random skills, including an ability to whistle in nine ways.

Joined IDEO:
2006


My Work


Full Bio

Steve Schwall is a Partner and Executive Director of Mobility at IDEO, where he works with creative leaders and executives to design new offerings, drive business growth, and transform organizational culture in rapidly changing mobility environments. With over 15 years of experience working alongside clients like Ford, John Deere, Navistar, and Samsung, Steve believes that successful change doesn’t come from a “big idea,” but rather from approaching problems with fresh perspectives, challenging assumptions, and working together in new ways.

An engineer and designer at heart, Steve is passionate about the power of design to address critical mobility-related challenges that people, businesses, and communities are facing—pollution, congestion, and inequity to name a few. While he frequently speaks on topics such as prototyping and design thinking, and guest lectures at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame, Steve is happiest when he’s “talking less and building more” in IDEO’s shop.

Prior to joining IDEO, Steve played with little red wagons as a product design engineer at Radio Flyer. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Industrial Design from the University of Notre Dame. In his free time, he’s a cyclist, juggler, percussionist, and proud father of two.

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