Robert Zolna


Robert Zolna
Clinical Associate Professor, Design Research
Faculty Lead, BA Design Studies
Senior Research Fellow, UIC Institute for Healthcare Delivery Design 

MDes Communication Design, IIT Institute of Design
BFA Electronic Media, Northern Illinois University

Robert Zolna is a human-centered researcher, educator, and designer. A self-professed people-nerd, he is fascinated with people and how they interact with objects, services, space, and each other.

As former Associate Partner and Director of Visual Communication at gravitytank, he has extensive experience visualizing research and strategy for Fortune 50 clients in consumer goods, healthcare, and hospitality. Additionally, he was responsible for shaping a culture of critique and collaboration across the design, research, and strategy disciplines. As Director of Brand and Visual Storytelling for dscout, a mobile research platform and service consultancy, Robert oversaw the development of brand strategies for the firm’s products and platforms. 

Prior to joining the UIC Design faculty, Robert taught in the MDes program at IIT’s Institute of Design. His current focus is on understanding and defining the aesthetics of patient care delivery and its impact on improving health for patients. He was recently appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Delivery Design at UIC’s Population Health Sciences Program.