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Minneapolis designers to speak about entrepreneurship, innovation March 3 at ISU

March 02, 2015

Aesthetic Apparatus' Dan Ibarra
Cheeriup founder Kelly English


AMES, Iowa — Dan Ibarra, a cofounder of Aesthetic Apparatus, and Kelly English, founder of Cheeriup, will speak about the intersection of design, entrepreneurship and innovation at Iowa State University Tuesday, March 3.

The Minneapolis-based couple will present "Designing a Life” from noon to 1 p.m. in room 1312 Hoover Hall. Part of the ISU Department of Graphic Design’s spring 2015 Graphic Design Speaker Series, their lecture is free and open to the public.

With Michael Byzewski, Ibarra established Aesthetic Apparatus as a commercial art and printmaking studio in 1999. Considered a pioneer in the contemporary American poster art community, the studio is defined by its multidisciplinary approach spanning graphic design, illustration, entrepreneurship, printmaking, and education.

The firm's client list includes a wide variety of local clients and startups, including The Beez Kneez, Pizzeria Lola, Forage Modern Workshop, The Walker Art Center and Two Bettys Green Cleaning, as well as large national and multinational corporations such as Esquire Magazine, Benefit Cosmetics, Old Navy and Absolut Vodka.

English is the one-woman-show behind Cheeriup, a product line of handmade play dwellings for all ages called "Thickets." English creates each one from willow branches she harvests herself in Minnesota.

While the endeavor grew from a desire to provide their daughter with a "natural and enchanting outdoor play space," it now is a business dedicated to "help us all unplug, slow down, play and connect with the natural world," English said.

Cheeriup has been featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, The New York Times, Apartment Therapy, House Beautiful, MPLS/STPL Magazine and various other design, home and parenting blogs and publications. In 2013, Stanford University's renowned Bing Nursery School commissioned three outdoor Thickets, one for each of its three preschool yards.

Bernard Canniffe, Graphic Design, (515) 294-3273,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,