A practitioner-scholar, educator, and author, Dr. Mariana Amatullo established the award-winning Designmatters Department at ArtCenter in 2001 where she has overseen an innovative curriculum and fellowship program, research initiatives, publications, exhibitions, and a slate of more than one hundred collaborative projects at the intersection of art, design and social innovation. Through her leadership, ArtCenter is the first design institution to be affiliated as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the United Nations and formally accredited with organizations such as the Organization of American States and the United Nations Population Fund. Amatullo lectures internationally about design and social innovation, participates in a number of national and international multidisciplinary initiatives that integrate design with the fields of government, science, business and technology and serves on a variety of advisory and executive boards of organizations engaged in the arts, design education and social innovation including IDEO.org, the Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, the DESIS Network, and the Winterhouse Institute.
Amatullo is the recipient of numerous design and social innovation awards and honors, among them the 2012 inaugural Dell Social Innovation Education Award for outstanding leadership in teaching and supporting student social innovators, Fast Company’s Co. “50 Designers Shaping the Future” and the “Public Interest Design 100.”
Amatullo holds an M.A. in art history and museum studies from University of Southern California and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Paris-Sorbonne University. She attained a Ph.D. in management from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she’s a scholar-in-residence and a design and innovation fellow. Her dissertation, “Design Attitude and Social Innovation: Empirical Studies of the Return on Design,” is one of the first studies in the design research literature that presents quantitative metrics demonstrating the statistical significance of design capabilities in the context of social innovation practices. A native of Argentina, Amatullo was brought up through the diplomatic corps and grew up around the world.