Muhammad Rahman

Muhammad Nafisur Rahman , MDES

Assistant Professor

Aronoff Center

DAAP School of Design - 0016

Professional Summary


Muhammad Rahman, M.Des., B.Arch., is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Design in the College of DAAP, University of Cincinnati. He holds a M.Des. in Graphic Design from University of Illinois at Chicago, UIC (2014) and B.Arch. from BRAC University, Bangladesh (2007). He worked as Branded Environments Designer-II at Perkins+Will Chicago before started pursuing his PhD in Architecture. He completed his 4-week 'typography and design' summer certificate courses at Basel School of Design (2013). He has held an appointment as a Lecturer-II at BRAC University. In conjunction with his practiceresearch he has taught students in communication design and architecture programs in USA, Portugal and Bangladesh for over nine years. Muhammad Rahman is an Assistant Editor of "Visible Language," the oldest peer–reviewed academic journal for design.

Owing to his background as a practitioner, Muhammad Rahman takes a strong interdisciplinary and practice-informed approach to teaching that gives him the ability to bridge between theory and practice of communication design. As a practicing architect, educator and photographer, Muhammad has an ability to integrate his background in architecture with graphic design as an intuitive fusion. His works consist of various interior and space design projects, promotion materials, brand designs, experimental typography, book and poster design etc. Muhammad has developed his own passion and character in spatial photography, visual abstraction - his works placed in different exhibitions and got awards. 



B.Arch. : BRAC University Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2007 (Architecture)

M.Des.: University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chicago, IL, USA, 2014 (Graphic Design)

Post-Graduate Studies: Institute of Visual Communication (FHNW) Basel, Switzerland, 2013 (Visual Communication)

Graduate Certificate : University of Cincinnati, OH, USA, 2020 (Urban Design)

PhD (ongoing) : University of Cincinnati, OH, USA, 2022 (Architecture)

Research and Practice Interests

visual communication; urban typography; architectural theory; urban signage; urban identity; wall-lettering; urbanism;  

Positions and Work Experience

2007 -2012 Senior Lecturer, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2007 -To Present Principal Designer, DZN 8+16, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2005 -2005 Architectural Co-op, ‘Sangath’ - Vastu Shilpa Consultants, Ahmadabad, India

2008 -2010 Architectural Associate, TKNRK & Associates, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2013 -2014 Visiting Researcher I, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chicago, IL, USA

2015 -2015 Associate Designer, Studio Junglecat, Chicago, USA

2015 -2015 Branded Environments Designer II, Perkins and Will , Chicago, USA

2017 -2017 Designer, HDR Architecture Inc., Chicago, USA

2011 -2012 Erasmus-Mundus Visiting Scholar, School of Design, University of Evora, Portugal

2013 -2014 Adjunct Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chicago, USA

2018 -2019 Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati,, OH, USA

Research Support

Investigators:Muhammad N Rahman 2019 -2020 Cornell University and Getty Foundations MAHASSA Emerging Scholar Award Role:Fellow Active Type:Fellowship Level:International

Investigators:Muhammad N Rahman 2018 -2020 Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education (AACSRE) Emerging Research Fellow Role:PI $10,000 Completed Type:Grant Level:National

Investigators:Kate Bonansinga, Vikas Mehta, Muhammad Rahman, Rachael Nolan, Jenny Ustick 2021 -2022 UC Office of the Vice President for Research Community Change Collaborative Grants 2021 : Equitable Cities Role:Co-PI $15,850 Active Level:Local


Published Abstracts

Muhammad Rahman (2019. ) Urban Typography as Artifacts: Activating Collective Memory in Dhaka City .[Abstract]107th ACSA Conference Abstract Book, Author

Peer Reviewed Publications

Rahman, M. & Mehta, V. (2018. ) Letter Forms as Communicative Urban Artifacts for Social Narratives.Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, , 2 (1 ) , More Information

Rahman, M. & Mehta, V. (2020. ) Signage Form and Character: a window to neighborhood visual identity.Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, , 4 (1 ) , More Information

Rahman, M. and Seward, R. (2021. ) Introduction to the Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS): Enhancing EGD Awareness in the Communication Design Studio.Communication and Place Journal, , 100 -112More Information

Mehta, M. & Rahman, M. (2021. ) Visualizing and Communicating Neighborhood Identities .Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, , 5 (2 ) ,55 -62


Invited Presentations

Muhammad Rahman (2020. ) Significance of Bengali Letterforms in the Urban Experience of Dhaka .Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Cornell University, Other Institution. . Level:International


Rahman, Muhammad (2013). Manifestation of Space in Bangladesh – a Poetic Synthesis . Chicago, Senior Design Colloquium, UIC.

Rahman, Muhammad (2014). Occupying Space: A Manifesto .Senior Design Seminar, UIC.

Paper Presentations

Rahman, M., & Mehta, V. (2019. ) Role of Storefront Signage in Creating Neighborhood Place-identity .EDRA50 Brooklyn. Conference. Level:International

Rahman, Muhammad (2018. ) Urban Typography as Artifacts: Activating Collective Memory in Dhaka City .107th ACSA, Pittsburgh, PA.. Conference.

Rahman, M., & Mehta, V. (2017. ) Letter forms as Communicative Urban Artifacts for Social Narratives .57th ACSP Conference, Denver, Colorado. Conference.

Rahman, Muhammad (2017. ) Construing Social Large Letterforms as Urban Artifacts in Neighborhoods to Generate Social Narratives .SAID Graduate Student Symposium, DAAP,P. UC.


Muhammad Rahman, Vikas Mehta (2018. ) Visualizing and Communicating Neighborhood Identity .Cincinnati. UC. Level:Regional

Courses Taught

Typography I, II, III Level:Undergraduate

Design Methodology I

Design MethodologyII (Capstone I) Level:Undergraduate

Faculty Development Activities

-2020 Principles of Typeface Design Cooper Union Type:Online Class

-2020 Found Lettering by Ken Barber Type at Cooper Union Type:Workshop

2020 Faculty Development Grant 2020-21 $5,500, UC Type:Faculty Fellowship