Mariana Amatullo



Vice President, Designmatters Department, Art Center College of Design
Pasadena, California, USA

Mariana Amatullo founded the college-wide initiative Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, based in Pasadena, California in 2001 with a task force of faculty, chairs, staff and students. In her capacity as the lead of the Department, she develops strategic educational partnerships and a portfolio of research collaborations, communication campaigns, exhibitions and publications that enhance Art Center’s commitment to be at the forefront of international art and design education and contribute solutions to humanitarian issues of critical urgency.

Through Amatullo’s leadership, Art Center is the first design institution to be formally affiliated with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO); and a civil society organization member with the Organization of American States (OAS/OEA). The award-winning and tangible outcomes of the curriculum and student projects that are developed under the mantle of Designmatters have established the program as an exemplary effort within the landscape of social impact design–uniting educational objectives with highly effective advocacy and action-oriented outcomes. In the past two years, the Designmatters platform has grown to include two complementary undergraduate Concentrations, the Designmatters and Artmatters Concentrations in art and design for social engagement and innovation, and “Media Design Practices: Field,” an innovative MFA track that brings design and new communication technologies into areas such as international development, public policy and economic innovation, where students and faculty delve deep into systemic issues with a consortium of partner organizations.

Amatullo is the recipient of the 2012 inaugural DELL Award for Outstanding Leadership in Social Innovation Education; her work at the intersection of design education and social innovation was most recently highlighted in the October 2012 Fast Company Magazine’s annual list of the “50 designers shaping the future.”

An active essayist and international lecturer, Amatullo also serves on a variety of advisory boards and networks engaged in the arts, design education and social activism, including, the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journal Tassmeem: Design-Research-Connect, Design 21 (in partnership with UNESCO), Intelligent Mobility International (IMI) and the University of Southern California International Museum Institute.

Amatullo is currently a Non-Profit Research Fellow with the Doctorate of Management Program, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Her doctoral research focuses on the shifting role of the designer in the social sector. She holds an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California (1994) and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris (1990). Her undergraduate studies included two years at l’Ecole du Louvre, Paris.

Amatullo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and brought up internationally through the Argentine diplomatic corps.