Chair, Graphic Design
University of Illinois at Chicago
Amir Berbić is an Associate Professor and Chair of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His work explores place identity, three-dimensional typography and design pedagogy. He is a frequent collaborator with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Amir immigrated to Chicago in the 1990s, where he completed his design education and began a career in editorial design and independent publishing. Amir’s work has been featured in numerous academic and professional publications, conferences, exhibitions and is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Design as Agent for Resilience
Amir Berbić will discuss a reconstruction of the visual identity design program for the 1990s Bosnian refugee camp in Denmark, originally designed by his father. Starting with a family history narrative assembled from found imagery and video footage he expands the project by engaging design as a reconstructive practice, reinterpreting the camp’s visual identity and retroactively designing for the camp as a way of preserving memory of his experience as a refugee. The project aims to position design as an agent that can enable vulnerable populations to assert a form to their identifying image, make sense of extreme circumstances, contest subjection, and build community.