SPB Gets BD Tour & Critique        

Northwestern Gets Tour and Critique

November 17, 2017

Northwestern University’s Segal Professional Bridge visited our studio this month for a tour and in depth look at what it means to be a designer in Chicago. SPB is the student run (230 to date) mentorship program established in 2011 for creative, design centered students at Northwestern. “Whether you’re a McCormick student, a student working toward the Design Certificate, or a student in the Masters of Engineering Design and Innovation program, we will not only protect what you create, but we’ll also help it thrive in the world.” Under Professor Dan Brown’s leadership the program opens doors for learning and creative opportunities by offering real experience.  SPB visits design firms (like Beyond), host workshops, speaking events, and recruit professionals for honest and effective portfolio critiques (more on that later). Beyond Design is a partner of SPB among other reputable companies and consultancies across the U.S. such as TEAMS Design, Orbit Media Studios, Grip, and Catapult Chicago.

“There are a lot of opportunities in Chicago for students who are interested in design to learn. We are always thrilled to listen and learn from the industry leaders like Michael who have spent many years in the design industry to enlarge our vision.” – SPB President, Umur Gokcek.

Beyond Design was one of six tours mixed into the regular school schedule. We had over 20 students visit the studio where owner, Michael Prince, gave them a tour of our office and 3D printing workshop followed by a question and answer session and a chance to chat with other Beyond designers. It is a learning experience for both the students and Beyond Design, we welcome the chance to collaborate with young designers to improve our own work. SPB President, Umur Gokcek, stated: “We found it fascinating how detailed Beyond Design projects were and we found it really interesting their method of having 3 different persona boards for projects and how this effects the story and evolution of the design. Moreover, it was so surprising for us to learn how different markets in the world react to different materials, colors and designs in regards to their own culture. It was also interesting to learn about the tensions of creating revolutionary design while keeping the DNA of the design for clients.”

mHUB Portfolio Critique

This past week Michael went to mHUB to critique student SPB portfolios. Beyond is a founding member at the manufacturing incubator and had a great time at the cross over event. From the SPB portfolio review we noticed a shift leading away from a tactical approach and instead a more engineering focused style with an emphasis on the process and exploration method used in industrial design and design thinking. Participating in events like this allows Beyond Design too keep on the pulse of the practices and skills of the next generation of designers.

Beyond is one of the founding members of mHUB along side companies like Charmac Solutions, BrewBike, and SER Studios.

If your organization or school are interested in a tour of our Ravenswood studio or portfolio critiques please drop us a note at We are always eager to collaborate and learn from other designers. Best of luck to the SPB students this semester!

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