©Winnie Westergard

©Winnie Westergard

Natalia Ilyin's biography

A 360-degree design thinker, Natalia Ilyin is a full professor of Design at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She teaches design history and criticism, design for social activism, apparel design, apparel design history, and wearable tech interface design there. In 2012--and again in 2015-- she earned Cornish's Award for Teaching Excellence

Natalia is also Founding and Core Faculty for the MFA in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She focuses on design history and critical and contextual studies there. When not teaching, Natalia consults on semiotic analysis for innovations groups and nonprofit clients, and is the co-director of a refugee-relief micro-grant program. She is particularly interested in how wearable tech innovation can contribute to refugee and migrant humanitarian aid relief efforts.

Natalia has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, Cooper Union and the University of Washington, and has acted as Critic for the MFA in Graphic Design at Yale University and Rhode Island School of Design.

She has worked as an apparel designer,  graphic designer, art director, creative director and as National Director of Programs for the American Institute of Graphic Arts in New York, and has lectured and given workshops at Microsoft, Boeing, Rhode Island School of Design, Maine College of Art, California College of Art, Art Center College of Design's Toyota lecture series, the Wolfsonian Museum, The Henry Art Gallery, and many other places. Natalia is a member of the Authors Guild, The American Semiotic Society, and The Design History Society.

Her articles have been published in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Portland Oregonian, the Miami Herald, Metropolis, STEP, Adbusters, Eye, Communication Arts, 2+3D, and in several anthologies of design criticism. Her book, Chasing the Perfect: Thoughts on Modernist Design in Our Time, is a personal look at the philosophy of modernism and its effect on life in our era. She is currently writing a book about writing.