Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Raja Schaar is an industrial designer and STEAM education evangelist. Her research focuses on wearables for healthcare, innovation and entrepreneurship, biologically-inspired design, sustainability and K-16 design pedagogy. She is an active museum exhibition designer working with community organizations, National Parks and museums across the country.
Originally from Georgia, Schaar previously taught at Georgia Tech’s College of Design and Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. She held positions at Malone Design/Fabrication and Lorenc+Yoo. Additionally, Schaar served as coordinator of school programs at the High Museum of Art and the director of programs and operations at Museum of Design Atlanta.
Schaar holds a BS in industrial design from Georgia Tech and an MA in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
From the #First2 Rows, to Binders of Women
Where my ladies at? No, seriously… Women make up half of the design student population in higher education. In some cases, more than half. Yet women only make up 25 percent of the practicing design industry and college-level design faculty. Through stories from her 13 years in college classroom, Assistant Professor Raja Schaar will outline ways in which women in industry can help address the lack of diversity in design program faculty and keep women in the game. #First2Rows refers to the count of women Schaar takes whenever she attends a campus innovation or industry events. Typically, the first wo rows are designated for the big players who are almost always older white men. She wants to change that. Binders of Women refers to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign flub where he revealed he relied on binders of women’s resumes to diversify his gubernatorial cabinet.