Fast Five with Amy Nicole Schwartz

AIGA Chicago is proud to congratulate one of our own, Amy Nicole Schwartz, on winning the 2015 Command X Prize at the AIGA Design Conference in New Orleans. Schwartz and six other contestants competed in a series of 24-hour design challenges, then presented their work on stage to a panel of judges and a live audience of 2,000 conference attendees. We grabbed five minutes for five questions with the hometown hero.



AIGA: Congratulations on your win! Can you tell us a bit about the event?

ANS: Thank you! There were three rounds of presentations, and the contestants designed right on the convention floor. Everyone could see our screens, give us feedback and make small talk.

Which of the challenges inspired you most?
The final challenge—communicate the importance of common-sense gun control laws—was definitely the most inspiring. It’s an issue I’m extremely passionate about, and it was so thrilling to have a round where the deliverable could be anything.

I presented a multi-faceted campaign that included a website to check how one’s elected officials vote on gun control, a national day of peaceful protest and a traveling pop-up memorial to the victims of gun violence in the U.S., constructed inside of shipping containers. All of our proposals were met with positive support, and there have been talks of turning this into a larger initiative for AIGA.

Any other conference highlights?
Meeting so many people whom I admire and forming meaningful relationships with them, including my fellow contestants. I definitely gained some new friends and mentors.

What would you say to folks who are thinking about going to next year’s conference?
Buy your ticket now! I was so impressed with the quality of programming and the welcoming nature of the conference. I can’t wait for next year in Las Vegas.

Are you at all concerned that a Cubs World Series Win could overshadow your victory?
That would overshadow all of humanity’s achievements, as it rightfully should.

Follow Amy Nicole Schwartz on Twitter as @amy_nicoleee and see more of her work at

Top photo by Brent Knepper.

By AIGA Chicago
Published October 19, 2015
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