David Hisaya Asari

David Hisaya Asari profile image

David Hisaya Asari is an Associate Professor, teaching in Graphic Design, First Year, and Special Programs at CCA. In his studio work, his experience ranges from information graphics, exhibition design, environmental design, and wayfinding systems to identity, branding, corporate communications, editorial design, annual reports, books, catalogs, and packaging.

Though he began his career with renowned designer Gerald Reis, Asari was first introduced to professional practice while a student at CCAC, interning at the design studio of Professor Emeritus Doug Akagi (Akagi Design/Alterpop).

After working at several San Francisco studios, Asari joined the international design consultancy Pentagram as a senior designer.

There, he worked for over a decade with Pentagram partner Kit Hinrichs. Asari has worked with a range of clients including Design Within Reach, AICAD, San Francisco Free Clinic, University of Southern California, the Museum of Glass, University of Michigan Business School, Ansel Adams Center for Photography, McGeorge School of Law, Walt Disney Family Museum, the San José Institute of Contemporary Art, and Montalvo Arts Center.

His projects have been recognized in major design competitions and publications including New York Art Directors Club, AIGA, Critique, Western Art Directors Club, One Club, and Graphis.

Asari is President Emeritus of the San Francisco chapter of AIGA, the nation's oldest and largest professional design organization. In eight years of board service and chapter leadership, he worked on initiatives on diversity and mentoring and spearheaded significant Bay Area design events, including SF Design Week. He is currently serving as Treasurer, as an Officer of the Executive Committee, for the Board of Directors of AIGA San Francisco. On a national level, he has helped to organize AIGA's annual Leadership Retreat, which assembled in Michigan in 2015.

He served on the site committee for the 2014 Association for Asian American Studies Conference. David is also a past board member of the San Francisco Art Directors Club/Creative Alliance, and was on the advisory board for Acumen, the graduate journal of the Design & Industry Department of San Francisco State University.

He currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Center for Art + Public Life (CAPL). CAPL “believes engaging communities is the foundation of a practice focused on changing the world. [CAPL] integrate this within CCA by facilitating and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships with the college and outside organizations.”

As a member of the First Year faculty, he has served as Core Coordinator working with the 2D faculty, and as a First Year Program advisor for new incoming students.

Asari is a standing ad hoc member of the President's Diversity Steering Group (PDSG), and has served on the Hearing Board for Judicial Affairs. He is currently involved with the Faculty of Color Research Alliance, chaired by Maxwell Leung and Eugene Rodriguez. He has served on commitees for national searches for CCA faculty and staff members.

At a college-wide level, he is serving a three-year term on the Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (APT)—one of the four standing committees comprising faculty governance. APT reports to the Provost, and works with the Executive Committee, on faculty policy and procedures—all matters pertaining to advancement in rank, change in status, and assignment of tenure. 

He served as Graphic Design Assistant Chair (2012–16), and has organized the Graphic Design program's L3R: Level 3 Review (junior review) and related student exhibition, and worked closely on the Graphic Design Program's 2015 External Review. He has served as a Major Advisor for the Graphic Design program, and recently as Program Expert (Fall 2016).

Since 2011, he has worked with international students in CCA's immersive Summer High School English + Art/Design Program, and has taught the summer intensive Pre-College Graphic Design studio course with high school students. He has also worked with incoming international graduate students and incoming Design MBA students. 

David has represented CCA at its partner institution, the International Foundation Course (IFC) at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing; as well as meeting with students on behalf of CCA in Mumbai and Delhi, India, and Shanghai, China. 

Invited by Dean Min Wang, he presented a lecture to students and faculty at the School of Design at CAFA.

Asari focused his studio art studies on printmaking (intaglio etching and lithography) at the University of California, Berkeley, working with professors Sylvia Lark, Joan Brown, and George Miyasaki (a CCAC alumnus), earning a fine arts degree; and continued his studies in graphic design at CCAC, starting with professors/mentors Steve Reoutt, Leslie Becker, and Doug Akagi. 

Associate Professor, First Year
Associate Professor, Graphic Design
Coordinator, First Year


BFA, University of California, Berkeley

Website: www.davidasari.com