Anijo Mathew Appointed as Dean of Institute of Design (ID)


Anijo Mathew

Anijo Mathew has been appointed as the new dean of the Institute of Design (ID), effective December 1, 2022. Mathew, who has served as ID’s interim dean since January 1, 2022, replaces Denis Weil (M.A.S. DSGN ’01), who led ID for five years. 

Mathew joined ID in 2008, and has spent much of his time at the university developing and teaching courses as an innovative and entrepreneurial thinker. Due to his international reputation, both he and his students have worked on strategic design projects across the globe. In addition to teaching, Mathew conceptualized and led ID’s popular Global Immersion Program, which helped students design projects for corporate and government entities around the world. Beyond campus, Mathew has been involved in interactive “placemaking” design projects in collaboration with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Loop Alliance, and the Chicago Architecture Center. 

Additionally, Mathew helped co-develop ID’s prototyping curriculum that continues to be a critical part of seminars, workshops, and studios at the school. He helped launch ID’s Multidisciplinary Prototyping initiative, which allows students from different academic units at Illinois Tech to work on multidisciplinary projects, and served as the first academic director for innovation and entrepreneurship at the university’s Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship. 

As a researcher, Mathew aims to understand how urban organizations can develop information platforms embedded in physical environments, as well as to evaluate how social connectivity and user behavior in such platforms affect the urban experience. Based on this research, he founded his startup Vamonde, an urban storytelling platform that operated worldwide for more than seven years. Outside of academia, Mathew has served as an adviser and consultant to numerous global organizations in the United States, India, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. Anjio earned a Ph.D. in design computing from the Open University in the United Kingdom, a master in design studies from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and a professional bachelor of architecture from Birla Institute of Technology Mesra in Ranchi, India.

“I have no doubt that Anijo will continue to be a strong and essential leader at the Institute of Design as it charts its next phase of prominence and impact,” Illinois Tech Interim Provost Kenneth T. Christensen says. “His talent for outreach and collaboration, mingled with his innate creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, will serve both ID and our campus well and will allow the institute to center itself in both local and global design initiatives of ever greater importance. More broadly, ID will play a crucial role as our institution embarks upon new initiatives that strategically leverage our educational and research strengths for transdisciplinary, purpose-driven impact.

“Finally, I would like to thank the search committee for its excellent work in identifying ID’s next leader, including a special note of appreciation to Laura Forlano for her efforts as committee chair.”

Photo: Institute of Design Dean Anijo Mathew