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Don Bergh

Don Bergh

Associate Director/HAL Director/OSF Director/Innovation Lab Director, UIC Innovation Center

BFA Graphic Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Yale/Brissago Summer Program in Graphic Design

Don Bergh is currently the Associate Director of the UIC Innovation Center.  Previously he was directing the Caterpillar Research Lab in collaboration with university graduate and undergraduate students, the lab explores the application of machine data to identify new business opportunities, solve site-safety issues, increase machine and user performance, and create new service models. The lab is an interdisciplinary collection of students from the colleges of Engineering, Business, and Architecture, Design, and the Arts.

Don has been teaching at the university for 18 years, most recently teaching Interdisciplinary Product Development (IPD); a course team-taught by faculty from engineering, industrial design, business/marketing, and graphic design. IPD is corporate-sponsored, and students are taught a structured innovation process for product or service solutions, working in multidisciplinary teams. IPD is a user-centered, iterative design-thinking methodology which delivers significant value to our corporate sponsors.

Before joining UIC, Don was a founder of Iota Partners; a research and development firm that combined experienced-based research with sensor technologies and analytics. Past work also includes Design Director of The McKinsey Quarterly; Design Director at E-Lab—a pioneering ethnographic research firm; and Design and Publications Director at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Co-author of “Collaborative Innovation Across Industry, Academy and Functional Boundaries: How Companies Innovate with Interdisciplinary Faculty and Student Teams,” in collaboration with fellow UIC faculty members, Don was awarded a Graham Foundation Design Fellowship at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His work has also received an Associate’s Exhibition Award and the Champion International Award, and been published by the American Center for Design, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the American Federation of the Arts, among others.

In addition to his role in the classroom and lab, Don serves as a selection committee member of University of Illinois Foundation, which seeks to accelerate innovation in the University’s Alumni Alliance programs.