Go beyond the Sketchbook


An all-day design conference at Jefferson University – DEC Center.

Scroll down to learn more!





What Are we all about?

Tandem is a conference that helps students go beyond the sketchbook and into the world of professional design. Our main goal is to depict the life of a designer and show how product development is a collaborative process between many fields. The conference itself will be broken into multiple workshops featuring different professionals from many disciplines to shed light on their processes.

Throughout the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to meet professionals and students from a variety of locations and programs. Along with lectures and workshops, specific networking opportunities will be planned during the event. Join us for good talks, good company, and a good time!

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Welcome to this year's roster of professional speakers and workshop hosts for Tandem 2017!



Joey Zeledón - Keynote

Joey Zeledón is an award-winning designer with expertise in product design, experience design, and design strategy. Joey is currently a Design Principal at Steelcase where he creates meaningful new experiences for people by innovating healthcare spaces through a combination of digital, physical and spatial design solutions. Previously, while a Senior Designer at Smart Design, he led a variety of design projects for Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and everything in between. He also co-founded the Smart Food lab, which explores the intersection of food, design and healthy behaviors. He was also an Industrial Designer at Continuum, working with a diverse group of clients and began his career as a footwear designer for Clarks Originals and Banana Republic. Through the span of his career, Joey's designs have won over 20 design awards. Check out some of his work by clicking on the link below!

Marcel Botha

Marcel Botha is an entrepreneur, engineer, architect, and investor. He experiments with simple hardware ideas on the edge between consumer and medical products. Marcel specializes in guiding product development teams from concept to viable product and is currently locked in a wave of parallel experimentation, feeding off his passion for product acceleration and digital manufacturing. In 2012 he co-founded Infant Ventures LLC, a company innovating at the stress-points between infants and parents, and was one of the inventors behind the much acclaimed Spuni feeding product. In 2010 Marcel co-founded Patients Pending Ltd where he developed a groundbreaking diabetes product called Timesulin, that helps Diabetics manage their Insulin compliance. Through his consulting firm 10xBETA, he has helped numerous medical professionals test, develop, and commercialize products ranging from electronic stethoscopes and colposcopes, to surgical instruments. Join us to hear him talk about his experiences and knowledge of the medical design industry.

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Carrie Collins

Carrie Collins is best known for revolutionizing the world of fanny packs and utility belts, and being a master at all things sewn.  She is the inventor of the U-Lock Holster and was part of the new wave of industrial designers exploring sustainable design and social justice. Her handmade business, Fabric Horse, dares people to expand their imaginations socially, creatively, and philosophically while staying dedicated to domestic manufacturing.  Carrie has used her skills and creativity to live an intentional life, bridging gaps and platforms in order to maintain creative integrity. She has taught sewing workshops around the US and abroad including Jamaica and remote villages in Zambia. Through sewing she has prototyped numerous products, created original sets and costumes for television (including over thirty custom cat costumes and wigs for NBC), and created sculptural works of art for gallery and museum shows. She teaches design at Philadelphia University, and studies Ving Tsun Kung Fu and natural medicine.

Jackie Kilmartin

Jackie Kilmartin is a Philadelphia based designer and teacher, running the textile-driven fashion brand, Lillian Jackson Textiles (LJT), established in 2011. Each LJT piece is designed & crafted in her Philadelphia studio, using hand-framed knitting looms & sustainable, low-impact materials. Jackie sells LJT work internationally at fine craft shows, boutiques & online.


Prior to 2011, Ms. Kilmartin worked as a biomedical textile engineer and laboratory researcher, designing custom textile products for the medical device industry. Jackie has experience in the development of woven, braided, warp knit & weft knit textiles, using novelty & conventional raw materials. She has been teaching at Drexel since 2011, and currently teaches courses in machine knitting, materials exploration and textiles for fashion.

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Mark Sunderland

Mark Sunderland is a performance apparel expert, textile engineer and Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair at Philadelphia University. With many years of industry experience working with companies like Nike, the U.S. military, and many more. In the past year, he has taken the role of Director MS Global Fashion Enterprise+ undergraduate Textile Material Technology.

Rose DiSanto

Founder of DiSanto Design, Rose is an award-winning designer whose work has been recognized by The Advertising Club of Greater Boston, American Institute of Graphic Design, Communication Arts Magazine, The New York Art Director’s Club, Graphis, Print Magazine, and The Philly Ad Club. In addition to her role at DiSanto Design, Rose sits on the board of AIGA Philadelphia where she serves as director of the city’s first mentoring program for young designers—a program she created and now directs since 2009. She is a former board member of Next Step, a nonprofit organization that serves young adults with life-threatening illnesses as they transition into adulthood. She recently held a full-time visiting professorship at Philadelphia University and the Adobe Achievement Awards.


Last year's speakers

Below are the people who were so awesome as to bless us with their knowledge at last year's conference.  Check out our archive for photos on last years event!




Ticket includes

  • Access to the Event
  • Raffle Tickets
  • Catered Breakfast and Lunch
  • and a GREAT TIME!

Raffle Items

  • 6 Keyshot Licenses
  • Sketchbook Bundle from Imagination International
  • Poppin Dream Desk Bundle
  • 2 Field Notes Assorted Items Box
  • 4 Micron Raffle Packages
  • ... and more!
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Jefferson University 

DEC Center

see campus map down below!

Please refer to this schedule for the event! We've got an exciting lineup and a

If you have any questions, please email us at tandemstudentconference@gmail.com.


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Contact Us 

Please allow for a modest delay in response time. Contact us through this form or email us at tandemstudentconference@gmail.com. Thanks!

Name *

Where we are

Jefferson University (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)

4201 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, 19144


Where should you stay?

We understand some of you might be coming from out of town and so would need a place to stay overnight. No worries! Depending on your situation and volunteers, some students can let you "couch surf" for the weekend of the conference. There are also other options, such as actual Couch Surfing, Air BNB, a hostel, or a hotel.

If your interested in staying with a PhilaU student please fill out the form above or email us and let us know so we can provide you with a place to stay. Below are some helpful links to get you started. 







We have a team of students dedicated to keeping you as close to campus as possible! Couch Surfing is ideal if you are not coming from the Philly area, but ask soon, we have a limited number of spots. Contact us to find out more. tandemstudentconference@gmail.com 



Here are some of our favorite places to stay near campus. PhilaU is located in East Falls, not Center City, so getting to and from the conference will be easy!

Crowne Plaza  (215) 458 2123

Hilton  (215) 879 4000

          Air B&B