Heather Quinn

Assistant Professor // Design
School of Design
Heather Quinn

Bio and Research Information

Heather Snyder Quinn is an Assistant Professor of Design and the 2021-22 Wicklander Fellowship recipient from DePaul’s Institute for Business and Professional Ethics. Her work uses design fiction to challenge technocratic power and imagine the future impacts of emerging technology on human freedoms. Her recent work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at SIGGRAPH Sparks, Typeforce, The New Media Caucus, The College Art Association, and Slanted Magazine. Most recently, Heather launched “Mariah.” Mariah is a site-specific, augmented reality application that narrates stories of historical injustice through the backdrop of significant cultural institutions and the funding that has allowed them to exist. Mariah is currently available on the App Store and received considerable press from The Washington Post and Hyperallergic. In addition, “Mariah: Acts of Resistance” is forthcoming as a documentary short film in the fall of 2021. In 2018 and 2019, Heather received the Society of Typographic Arts 100 Award for her speculative design publications, both of which utilize augmented reality and were contributed to by her two daughters. In addition, in 2017, she was awarded an arts residency at The Frans Masereel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium. During her time there, she published “Lost in Translation” an experimental publication that documents her family’s experience through language and culture with Google Translate’s augmented reality feature via 2,400 smartphone screenshots. Dedicated to improving society through the field of design, Heather currently serves as Director of Design Futures for Design Incubation, an organization dedicated to advancing research and scholarship in communication design, and as co-chair for Speculative Futures Chicago. In addition, from 2016-2019, she was co-chair of AIGA Chicago’s Women Lead initiative. From 1996-2015 Heather worked as an experience designer at Sapient, Fitch, and Essential Design. She opened her design studio in 2001, creating work for clients including MIT, IBM, Harvard, The United Nations, Forrester Research, and OpenPediatrics, among others. Heather received her BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design in 1996 and taught there from 2001-2010. In 2018 she received her MFA in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in the Chicago area with her partner and their two daughters.

Research Area


Specific Research Area

user experience, design fiction, design futures, interactive fiction, augmented reality, design ethics, academia and industry collaboration

Professional Associations

Design Futures Initiative, Design Incubation, Society of Typographic Arts

Schedule for Fall 2022-2023

Courses Taught at DePaul

Course Evaluations