PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS (PUP) is an Indianapolis-based 501c3 non-profit organization that advances connectivity, environmental awareness, and good design.
We rescue discarded materials, redesigning them for public benefit. These locally-designed goods fund big projects and big ideas that improve Indianapolis' urban spaces. Simply put, we make goods for Indy's good.
PUP is a do-tank. We turn useless into useful. We're the not-for-profit that turned the RCA Dome roof into wallets, messenger bags and shade structures. We turned Bush Stadium seats into bus stops.
We take the money made from our locally-designed and manufactured products to fund bigger projects and ideas that enhance the city's quality-of-life, connectedness and design culture.
MICHAEL BRICKER (Chief Innovator/Co-Founder)
Michael has worked extensively in both the design and film industries, holding a Master in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to his work with PUP, Michael works as a production designer, most recently for the Toronto-premiering feature film 'Beneath the Harvest Sky', SXSW's 'The Bounceback', and Sundance featured 'Computer Chess.
He has also taught art, architecture, and film both as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Wabash College and as an Assistant Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin. Michael also currently serves at the Co-Chair of the Indy Rezone Steering Committee.
Additional work can be viewed here.
JESSICA BRICKER (Director of Design + Fabrication)
Jessica, Michael's twin sister, started with PUP in late 2009, working intially as a product designer. Since then, she now oversees all of product development and retailer relationships, ensuring that PUP continues to deliver awesome, high-quality products.
Additionally, Jessica works independently as an interior designer. In this capacity, she has worked for Lohr Design and Rowland Design. She studied Interior Design at Ball State University.
Additional work can be viewed here.
JONATHAN ALLINSON (Director of Operations + Development)
As Director of Operations + Development, Jonathan works to ensure PUP stays focused on executing quality projects while building capacity to increase the organization's presence in Indianaoplis.
Jonathan is a graduate of Butler University, where he studied media arts, history and business. He is a former program manager at the Indiana Recycling Coalition and operations assistant at Heartland Truly Moving Pictures.
In addition to his work with PUP, Jonathan is an urban gardener, coffee roaster and a freelance graphic designer.
ELIZABETH RONEY (Product Designer)
Liz has been working with PUP since early 2010, focusing mainly on Dome Wallet and Urban Hobo design and construction.
In 2009, with a passion to connect the consumer with the producer and increase the standard of living for those working in production factories, Elizabeth started Liz Alig - a clothing and dress line made from upcycled and recycled fabrics, and produced by several fair trade groups around the world.
Her amazing work can be viewed and purchased here.
CHRISTINA FRIEDENSON (Designer)
Christina is an investment banking professional by day and a fabric artist by night, designing and sewing for PUP since spring 2011. She created the sleek and massively popular tandem pannier bag. “The ReCycler” combines form and function with clean lines; a pattern which took nearly a year to perfect. It features roll-up sides, double stitching and water resistance. ReCycler custom orders can be emailed to Christina@peopleup.org.
Christina likes to use her lifetime of fine art, handicraft & patternmaking experience to bring her inspirations to life, and has won recognition for her work since she was ten years old. Her sewing tradition dates back several generations and she began her family apprenticeship at a very young age. She is a freak for analog photography, gardening, creative stuff, party planning, general positivity, smiling, singing, laughing loudly, is bad at re-telling jokes and can be seen buzzing around town with her husband, Doug, on their vintage Honda motorbikes.
RACHEL WHITE (Product Designer)
Rachel went to school, graduated, and doesn't use her degree. She is now learning the art of making things, grows delicious food, and has world class friends. These things suit her well and she is happy.
EMILY BEETS (Product Designer)
Emily has been sewing dome and super wallets and shower curtains for PUP since 2012. She has been hand sewing since she was young, everything from pillows to designing and altering her own clothes. She finally ‘graduated’ to machine sewing when one of her closest friends and fellow designer, Christina, gifted her, her old machine.
Emily also has her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and besides sewing, can often be found doing home improvement projects, jewelry creation, and a plethora of other art projects in her home studio.
In her personal time, Emily is a beer and coffee snob and usually has her hands in anything art or fashion related.
RYAN GALLAGHER (PUPstop Coordinator)
Ryan was born and raised in Indianapolis and has been working with PUP since June 2011, focusing mainly on the Bush Stadium Seat Salvage and PUPstop Projects. He has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a graduate degree in Urban & Regional Planning. He is a Transit Planner for IndyGo. In his free time he likes to play racquetball.
ANTHONY LAVADERA (Project Innovator)
In addition to working as a filmmaker, Anthony holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, giving him considerable virtuosity in the art of design and urban enhancement.
In the past, he has helped teach architectural drawing classes, summited some mountains, pilgrimaged to international architectural sites, cooked meals for a dozen people, participated in creating new Wikipedia entries, and donated his efforts for good causes. Originally from the New York/New Jersey area and working in Midtown Manhattan in the financial services industry for three years, Anthony has travelled thousands of miles in search of creative opportunities and collaboration. He stops from time to time in this pursuit.
MARK WILLIAMS (Product Designer)
Mark is the newest member of the design team at PUP. He’s been making dome wallets, clutches, and bags since the beginning of the year.
Though his background is in business, he’s happiest when he’s working with his hands. Away from PUP, he’s usually either creating handcrafted men’s leather accessories for his local business, Jack Heinz, or working as a freelance front-end web developer.