Hi, I'm a Multidisciplinary Designer, Educator, & Critical Futurist with 20+ years of experience mentoring designers and leading teams.
I envision a world where design is adopted and applied through a critical lens to shape emerging technologies that serve the good of society and the environment. 
I work with educators, researchers, startups, and established organizations.
Currently
I recently finished my contract as Innovation Professor of Practice and Director of Innovation at the University of Portland (UP). I implemented and managed the campus-wide Innovation Minor and recently supported the development and launch of the Shiley Marcos Center for Design and Innovation. 
I taught and facilitated workshops, lectures, and presentations. I mentored 40+ students across different engineering, nursing, psychology, and sociology disciplines through their four-year journey and professional endeavors after graduation. My coursework focused on the History of Design and Innovation, Empathy & Human-Centered Research, Critical Making & Prototyping, Industry Sponsored Projects, and Living with Intelligent Things. In addition, I conducted research projects for the University on diversity and inclusion, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. 
🤓
Upcoming events & projects
Professional Mentor
Interactive Design

Savannah College of Art and Design
Atlanta, GA. Spring 2024
Plenary Speaker
Education Track

ASME, IMECE 2024
Portland, OR. Fall 2024
Contributing Author
Rethinking Higher Education Through the Experiences, Insights, and Strengths of First-Generation College Students
Routledge
Winter 2024
🧐
Biography
Short 3rd Person Bio
Salvador Orara is a distinguished practitioner in the design industry and academia, with a nomadic career between both realms spanning over two decades. With a robust background in graphic design, interaction and user experience design, and product innovation, his journey reflects a passion for creativity, a commitment to education, and the critical exploration of the intersection between design, technology, and the human experience.
The Road Between Academia and Industry Toward a Humane Design Philosophy
Before joining UP in 2019, I was invited to be a Lead UX Developer at Jaguar Land Rover, which eventually evolved into a full-time position as Lead User Experience Strategist and Product Owner for the Portland office. I mentored and led junior and senior designers and software developers through cross-functional projects that facilitated the discovery work of future HMI and infotainment for 2020+5. The team's work would inform the interaction model for all vehicle lines across brands featuring P-IVI and P-IVI-Pro, starting with the flagship Land Rover Defender. I would also teach at Pacific Northwest College of Art during this time and serve as President of the AIGA Portland Chapter. 
Between 2012 and 2015, I embarked upon an aggressive and challenging parallel career in education and design entrepreneurship. I began a career as a serial adjunct professor, teaching over 25 courses within three years across Woodbury University, Art Center College of Design, and Otis College of Art and Design, focusing on topics such as Information Architecture, Micro-interactions, Digital Ecosystems, New Car Experiences, Web Design, Advanced Typography, Sciences of the Unseen, and Mobile Application Design. These teaching experiences developed my ability to lead and develop young designers and a project and activity-driven course experience. At the same time, I founded The Rare Studio, a creative technology agency whose mission was to educate designers to embrace and experiment with technology while executing projects with companies such as Yu+CO, Verynice, Razorfish, Continuum, and several non-profit organizations, artists, and startups.
I received a Master in Fine Arts in Media Design Practices from ArtCenter College of Design in 2012. The program introduced me to animism, speculative, and critical design practices, which facilitated my exploration of the implications of emerging technologies on human experiences through sound. My master's thesis, "Affection Stations," earned recognition in Creative Applications Network and Critical Studies at the School of Visual Arts and was published with IEEE VISArts.
In the early stages of my career, I worked with Eddie Opara at The Map Office in NYC. My contributions at Map ranged from printed matter, visual brand systems, and rich internet web applications to installations, showcasing my visual and graphic design skills and proficiency as an ActionScript programmer and front-end developer. Some of my key clients included the Studio Museum in Harlem, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, Halstead Properties, The Orchestra of St. Luke, Carlton Davis, and many more. This experience, marked by numerous awards and features, culminating in the studio's migration to Pentagram in 2010. 
I received a BFA in graphic design from the University of the Arts in 2005 and held several junior graphic design positions in Philadelphia before returning to NYC. 
📍
Portland, Oregon
(available for remote collaborations and contracts)
I enjoy playing guitar and modular synthesizers, rock climbing, and cycling around the city with the family. Despite working in the automotive industry, I refuse to own a personal car, so I ride my bicycle (and electric bike) as much as possible. Rain or shine! ​​​​​​​
Back to Top