THEODORE ULLRICH (1984)
PHILOSOPHY & FOCUS
I am an Industrial Designer, Interdisciplinary Engineer, and serial entrepreneur who designs, engineers, and develops revolutionary products for a better future. For those who follow astrology, I was born in the year of the Mac. In 1984, a grinning, bow-tied Steve Jobs unveiled the Mac: a vision for an alternative future. For myself and other product designers who grew up on Apple, the company imprinted a set of unshakable expectations for tomorrow's products: they must be friendly, intuitive, and online.
For me, physical things provide a deeper potential to affect change than apps or websites do. I think its because, at the end of the day, we are physical creatures and find deeper intuition, joy, and permanence with products we touch. I especially admire products which are built on a technical feat of science, thereby advancing society with a new widespread capability.
I am focused on understanding and promoting a style of entrepreneurship which cradles risk taking, championing design studios as invention centers, and advancing our culture through market-driven adoptions of mass manufactured technology products that solve problems. I regularly speak on the role of design studios as invention centers and the application of science and design to small entrepreneurial ventures to create new technology products that solve big problems.
Theodore Ullrich (Ted) is a founding partner at Tomorrow Lab ®, an internationally recognized product design and engineering studio based in New York City. Tomorrow Lab develops and manufactures smart hardware products for their clients, and was recognized on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2014 as Top Tech Innovators. Alongside Tomorrow Lab, Ted is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, teaching in the Products of Design and Interaction Design Programs. He has instructed design studio courses at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Drexel University in Philadelphia, and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) in Denmark. He also serves as a Permanent Advisor on the in-house team of the NEST, CIID’s design-driven startup incubator.
PRESS, SPEAKING EVENTS, & WORKSHOPS
In 2010, Ted founded Tomorrow Lab®, a New York City based hardware development consultancy that researches, designs, and engineers revolutionary products that steer communities toward a better future. He does speaking events on the future of design and technology. In the past, Ted has been an Adjunct Professor of Product Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia where he organized and taught the Opening Audio design studio course, has worked at Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Armchair Media, Epidemik Coalition, and taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture.
Alongside Tomorrow Lab®, Ted helped start and/or propel the following start-ups:
WayCount™, an open data platform for crowdsourcing automobile and bicycle traffic counts.
Windowfarms™, an opensource citizen science project exploring how to provide fresh food to urban dwellers.
littleBits, a growing library of discrete electronics that snap together with magnets to allow fast prototyping of sensors and displays.
Social Bicycles™, an affordable bike share system which puts all mobile communications on the bikes themselves.
DoTank:Brooklyn, an action-oriented group of urban planners, architects, and designers who use boot-strapping and guerilla tactics to bring attention and positive improvements to the local community.
Bring to Light NYC, the city's version of the global Nuit Blanche night-time arts event format where public spaces are illuminated with electronic art for one night every year.