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Amira H

- Research Program Mentor

MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago


App Design, UI/UX, Design Research, Design History, Typography, Visual and Graphic Design, Drawing, Creative Writing, Watercolor Painting, Sculpture, Art History, Art research methodology, Anthropology, Sociology, Bookmaking, Printmaking


I didn't grow up knowing I would be an artist, though I was always drawn to express myself creatively, whether it was through visually designing my school projects or designing and sewing my own clothes. Studying the Sociology of Art in college, I learned about the functions art has in our communities and it helped me to realize my passion for design systems and creating ways to connect beyond written and spoken language. Travel and cross-cultural explorations have always been the most meaningful and important experiences, so I found this way of communicating the world to be logical and inevitable for me. Now, since I earned my Master of Fine Art degree and work as a Professor of Design, I am able to foster the same joy and challenge in my students. As a teacher and mentor I am empathetic and direct, my goal is to help my students reach their highest potential and to help foster compassionate creative individuals. I believe the culture that we create and discover through making and researching is the basis for how individuals and societies identify and root themselves in the world. What we do is so important, I'm excited to work with you and help to develop your projects as well!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Self Published Book

Have you ever said, "One day I'll write my own book"... well today could be that day. We will work together to create content in the form of creative writing or graphics, design/ sequence your content into a book with digital tools, and ultimately finish with a printed and bound volume of your own creation. We will start by choosing a genre for the book and researching books that are in a similar mode and scope of what you're interested in. We'll look particularly at layout, cover design, and sequence strategies. Next, we will develop your own original content, revising and editing along the way. Then, we will synthesize our research and original content into a book form in Adobe InDesign or Acrobat. Finally, we will design the cover and binding for the book so it is a cohesive expression of your work as an author and artist. You'll walk away from this project with your own self-published book and the knowledge to continue publishing your work!

Design Research and Development

Design is rooted in problem solving and creating elegant solutions. Together we will identify an issue and do social research, analyze data and develop a design solution that can be integrated into daily life. Projects could include designing an app, website, product or virtually anything that needs fixing. Everything in our lives are designed, so lets design it better!

Digital Application Design

Digital apps for our phones, tablets, and computers are increasingly diverse, expressive and easy to use. Good application design is behind this progress and essential to creating a pleasant experience for the user. We will work together to design the visual interface and user experience for your own digital application, ending with an interactive prototype. Our process will begin with learning about design systems and layout strategies through exercises withing Adobe XD. We'll do a deep dive into some apps that you love in order to learn what makes them so lovable, from their design strategy to the visual systems we will dissect their visual elements. Then you will come up with an original app idea, together we will create wireframes, user stories, and ultimately a completed interactive prototype of your app.

Languages I know


Teaching experience

I am currently a professor in the Art & Art history department at Columbia College Chicago and the Design School at the University of Illinois Chicago. I work with students of all ages and backgrounds to teach them about the influence and role of design history in their work and careers. Additionally I am a research fellow at the Design Museum of Chicago where I am developing an exhibition on the typography of Chicago for an exhibition in 2024. Previously, I mentored and taught students as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and a Professor of Printmedia at the School Of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2018-2020. Before that, I worked with individuals and small groups, teaching subjects ranging from applied algebra, life drawing, college application and portfolio preparation, to letterpress printing and bookmaking. Overall, I have been working with students for over 10 years!


Work experience

Statement Press (2016 - Current)
Columbia College Chicago (2021 - Current)
Adjunct Professor
Design Museum of Chicago (2021 - Current)
Research Fellow
University of Illinois Chicago (2022 - Current)
Adjunct Assistant Professor


Washington & Lee University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Sociology & Anthropology, Studio Art
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
MFA Master of Fine Arts (2020)
Studio Art - Printmedia

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