A.M. García

Design Leader

Chicago, IL, USA
With 20 years of professional experience in human-centered design, user experience and innovation, I'm available as consultant, speaker/storyteller, educator, facilitator and behind-the-scenes collaborator for creative endeavors large and small.

Leading teams in design and strategy both in-house and as a consultant, I've collaborated with clients and colleagues across a wide range of industries including social enterprise, healthcare, consumer electronics, financial services, education and retail.

My expertise includes: design thinking, brand strategy, concepting / visualization / illustration, graphic facilitation, and user research and customer discovery.

Work Experience

Dadwell & Co.

Founder

As executive producer and host of The Dadwell Podcast, I explore the intersection of creativity and fatherhood in long-form interview format. I collect and share conversations with artist/maker/designer dads about their work-life blend and how they're working to redefine the expectations and norms of parenting, partnering, providing, and creative purpose.
March 2019 - Present Chicago, Illinois, United States

Northwestern University

Adjunct Professor

I teach Visual Storytelling, a graduate seminar covering a broad definition of “story” and introducing techniques for crafting, visualizing, and sharing in both analog and digital forms. Using the building blocks of story as a foundation, students explore the art of graphic facilitation, illustrated journey maps, storyboarding, animatics, and narrative video. This course balances rote practice (muscle-building for rapid visualization), a personal inventory of visual elements and shorthand, and the craft of time-based mediums and narrative framing.
January 2015 - Present Evanston, Illinois, United States

Invision

Design Leader Forum Member

Our mission is to advance the practice of design leadership by fostering a community where the world’s best can learn from one another. We strive to make the Forum inclusive and relevant to those confronting the challenges of leading design teams.
September 2018 - Present

Rightpoint

Group Experience Director

As Group Experience Director I played a critical leadership role across the Design & Strategy disciplines at Rightpoint. As a practice lead for UX, I advocated for the user-centered design process and oversaw a growing team of seasoned interaction designers and researchers across our Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Los Angeles offices. I partnered closely with the heads of Content Design, Visual Design and Business Design across our national network to define the what, how and why for our Experience Group. Additionally, I partnered with our clients to develop programs and accounts.

My responsibilities broadly covered team management and growth, business development, project delivery, and process definition.
October 2017 - March 2019 Chicago, Illinois, United States

Northern Trust Corp.

Portfolio Lead

The Northern Lab is a new group within Northern Trust focused on identifying, incubating, and designing experiences that enhance client and partner interactions through a human-centered process. As a senior leader in the Lab, I help inform and inspire the expression of the Lab across the enterprise and shape the studio’s portfolio of projects—thinking creatively and strategically to uncover the sweet spot among Northern Trust’s capabilities, the business unit’s strategic priorities, market context, and human insights.

• engagement leadership across multiple client and partner programs
• interaction design, concepting and visualization
• UI/UX/IA strategy
• content development
• project scoping and development
December 2015 - Present Chicago, Illinois, United States

Good Night TV

Co-Founder

• creative direction
• graphic design + illustration
• package design
September 2005 - Present Chicago, Illinois, United States

Gravitytank

Associate Partner

• engagement leadership on client programs
• leadership of 12-person interaction design capability
• business development
• interaction design
• UI/UX/IA strategy
• concepting + illustration
• content development
• social media management, marketing support
• direct mentorship of 6 junior team members
• social innovation domain coach
February 2010 - November 2015 Chicago, Illinois, United States

Firebelly

Strategic Director

• design strategy
• content development
• copywriting
• illustration
• new business development
• project management
February 2005 - December 2009 Chicago, Illinois, United States

Education

Atlanta College Of Art

BFA, Communication Design - Advertising

1997 - 2001 Georgia, United States

Harvard University

AIGA Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders

2007 - 2007 Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Awards

Design Management Institute

Design Value Award

2015

Chicago Design Archive

ARCHIVE10

2010

Chicago Design Archive

ARCHIVE07

2007

Print Magazine

Print Certificate of Excellence

2007

Type Directors Club

TDC 53rd Exhibition / 28th TDC Annual

2006

Skills

Art Direction, Creative Direction, Design Strategy, Design Thinking, Illustration, Interaction Design, Storyboarding, User Experience,