New IDer: Cynthia Breckenridge

by New Idiom


Please quickly introduce yourself in a quick sentence. Where are you from? Major, age, etc.

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, but have lived here for 6 years. I attended the University of Chicago and doubled majored in physics and music (specifically music theory). I just turned 24 in June, so I’m still accepting gifts in case any of you are a little behind in your shopping.

Married? Children?

My beta fish, Nelson Killa.


Socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Everyone should read Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein, though; It’s an interesting way of applying design-like thought processes to politics.


I believe in my friends and myself.

How did you end up at ID? What were your motivations for coming? Where were you before?

I originally thought I would head to architecture school after college, but I realized during the application process that my heart wasn’t really in it. I was much more interested in how design affected people and how people and other external forces affected what we designed. I was much less interested in my personal formal whims. At the time, I was working in development communications on the main campus of IIT, which is how I found out about ID, and after that everything just fell into place.

What are your first impressions about ID?

Foundation kids are the coolest!!!

What do you think you could bring to the people here at ID? (culturally, socially, etc.)

A lot of sarcasm and a love of Bruce Springsteen.

Is there anything from your home that you think people should not miss?


Which designers/thinkers have impressed you the most lately or you are following now?

Would it be lame to say I’m impressed by the people I’ve met at ID and am excited to see where they go? Yeah, I know. But I said it anyway.

Tell us quickly about a project that you’re working on now that you’re really excited about.

There aren’t a lot of big projects happening right now, but I’m really excited to listen to anything John Grimes wants to talk about.

What are the websites you could not live without? to stay on top of Chicago culture (and because my best friend is the editor), for my daily gossip, for news, and when I need an ounce or two of pure, saccharine comfort.

What kinds of activities are you planning to do in your free time (in case you have any) while at ID?

I am a karaoke junkie. I also sing in the Chicago Chorale, who performs several concerts a year including a performance this summer at Ravinia with the CSO.