15 July 2019

Design Expert Amir Berbić Named Dean of VCUarts Qatar

Amir Berbić, a design expert who has worked in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, has been appointed dean of VCUarts Qatar, effective Aug. 1.

Berbić, a professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has served as associate dean for faculty affairs of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; chair of graphic design; and as acting director of the School of Design.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Amir Berbić to VCUarts Qatar,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “I am confident the university’s legacy of groundbreaking innovation and creativity will continue with Dean Berbić as leader. I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Berbić has worked in collaboration with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. His scholarly and creative work examines the role design can have in shaping identities of places.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014, Berbić was on the Art and Design faculty of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He was on the AIGA Chicago board of directors from 2015-18, serving as vice president and co-chair of education.

Berbić’s work has been recognized in numerous publications, conferences and exhibitions including Design Issues, Visual Communication, Print, Graphis, The Society of Typographic Arts, the International Council of Design, AIGA Design Educators Community, TypeCon and Salone del Mobile in Milan. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Dean Berbić’s wealth of experience as a university administrator, his design research skills, his collaborations with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers in a wide range of different countries, as well as his considerable work, writing, and teaching output make him ideally suited for the dynamic art and design environment that is VCUarts Qatar,” said Executive Dean Donald N. Baker, Ph.D.

Berbić succeeds Baker, who will continue in his role through Dec. 31.

Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Berbić immigrated to the United States in the 1990s where he completed his studies and worked in editorial design and publishing. He holds an MFA in visual communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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