Berry Appointed Director at UIC Design

Photo Credit: Stuart Meade

Access To Public Education Changes Lives

The School of Design (UIC Design) at the University of Illinois Chicago has appointed Anne H. Berry as its new Director. A practicing designer, writer, and educator for nearly two decades, Berry has helped shape and propel important conversations through her research, which focuses on representation and diversity in design, as well as ethnic and racial disparities in the field. Her book The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression & Reflection, for which she served as managing editor, was named as one of Fast Company‘s “Best Design Books of 2022.” She was named a GDUSA Person To Watch in 2023.

As Director, Berry will continue to amplify design’s social impact and advocate for equity and inclusion in her work with a uniquely diverse student body across cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and national origins. Berry comes to UIC from Cleveland State University (CSU) and will assume the directorship in July 2024. UIC Design is part of the UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) and offers programs in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Design Studies, and Computer Science + Design. Berry joins a faculty of practicing designers recognized for excellence in their fields, who employ academic rigor and creative innovation to prepare students for successful careers.

“Berry’s strengths in diversity and empathy shone among the outstanding candidates,” said Sung Jang, co-chair of the search committee and Associate Professor at UIC Design. “The search committee was impressed by her proactive poise to navigating the evolving world, drawing on the perspective of an energetic designer with remarkable leadership. In person, Berry effortlessly aligns with the personality and culture of UIC.”  Berry, whose background is in the arts, has exhibited her work in several individual and group exhibitions throughout her career. Most recently, she co-created and co-curated an exhibition for her Ongoing Matter project that traveled to Indiana, Ohio, and California. Another of her exhibitions, Making Waves: Civil Rights and the South Bend Natatorium, is part of the permanent collection currently on view at the Civil Rights Heritage Center in South Bend IN.

“Over the course of my time in higher education, I have seen the variety of ways in which access to public education has transformed people’s lives,” says Berry. “Being able to serve the exceptionally diverse student population and campus community at UIC in a new capacity as Director, alongside Design faculty and staff who are equally passionate about education, is an extraordinary opportunity. I feel privileged to be able to help shape and advance the mission of the school as we prepare students to actively engage with the world around them.”