About Amanda

Hello! My name is Amanda Cilek and I am an Interaction Designer at Medic Mobile, a nonprofit improving healthcare access through mobile technology and human-centered design thinking. I have a passion for design for social good, and enjoy transforming my creative energy into tangible products and services that benefit others. I have eight years of professional experience and an MFA in Design from the University of Iowa. 


Summary of Experience

Interaction Designer   |   Medic Mobile (Current)
Senior UI/UX Designer   |   Gambit PDX (2016-2017)
Senior Designer   |   Meta Communications (2015-2016)
Adjunct Professor   |   University of Iowa (2015)
Instructor of Record   |   University of Iowa (2012-2015)
Graphic Designer   |   Pearson North America (2010-2012)
Web Designer   |   Intermec Technologies Inc. (2008-2010)

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Artist Statement

I design because I feel compelled to make a difference and because I believe good, thoughtful design can be the perfect catalyst for change. I enjoy the challenge, the constant learning, the creative outlet, and most of all, the opportunity to educate and inspire others. With my current and ongoing work, my goal is to create designs for the greater good that will cause viewers to think about sustainability and social justice issues in a new light. 

I believe it is our job as artists and creative problem solvers to view the world differently and ask thought-provoking questions. Exposure to diverse people and differing viewpoints necessitates open and humble minds, yet hatred, intolerance, and ignorance continue to thrive. Ignorance and apathy about the world hinder our critical thinking and leave us isolated and unprepared for the ever more global reality. We need to change our overall perspective, step back and view the world with a wider lens, if we ever hope to figure out our own place in it. 
           
I believe that design has the potential to be incredibly powerful and life changing and I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

 

MFA Work

This body of work explores multiple technical and aesthetic methods of representing complex statistical information in an approachable visual language, bridging the boundaries between data science, graphic design and fine arts. Ordinary data charts are combined together with other charts and diagrams and transformed in unexpected ways in order to form the basic structure of mythical landscape scenes. Line plots over time become the rising and falling curves of hills and mountains, bar charts are morphed into industrial factories on the horizon, and bubble charts become billowing smoke, a forest of trees, or a school of fish. The hope is that the work will act as an engaging alternative to traditional data representation and will encourage curiosity and a fresh perspective.

 

MA Work

This work explores themes of world culture, geography, and sociology with the goal of increasing global awareness and encouraging broad-mindedness, cooperation, and a sense of togetherness. I'm interested in investigating how countries and people relate to one another, both literally in space and time, and more figuratively through other facets of life. I am particularly attracted to world maps and cultural identifiers such as political flags. I've learned a lot about various map projections and it was eye opening to realize how much the maps we choose to use shape our perceptions of the world. With this in mind, some of my work attempts to alter traditional representations of world maps and put the continents in new contexts in order to challenge convention and emphasize the concept of one living, interconnected system. Other work questions our ideas about political division and identity by deconstructing known symbols and giving them new meaning. I hope that my work can encourage a greater global consciousness and curiosity about the world—and the people in it—and lead to positive changes in thinking and behavior.