McKayla Barber, IDSA
Industrial Design & Design Strategist | Beyond Design
Vice Chair, IDSA Chicago Chapter | 2020-2021
McKayla Barber is an industrial designer and design strategist at Beyond Design, a strategic product development firm in Ravenswood, where she works on a variety of projects ranging from audio equipment to appliances.
McKayla graduated from Purdue University’s Industrial Design program in the spring of 2018 with a minor in furniture design. Throughout her time at Purdue, McKayla used design to develop human-centered products that not only improve the human experience but also spark social change and move our world forward. Embodying this mindset for her senior thesis, McKayla set out to create a product that improved and brought awareness to the issues new mothers face postpartum. McKayla was named the Industrial Design Outstanding Senior for 2018 and received the Award for Design Excellence for her accomplishments throughout her college career.
Since moving to Chicago, McKayla has continued to pursue her passion for gender inclusive design. In the fall of 2018, McKayla and fellow IDSA board member, Mallory Evans, formed ID Women Chicago with the goal of growing and strengthening the community of female industrial designers in Chicago. They hold regular events as a way to gather people who want to support women in industrial design and continue the conversation around promoting an inclusive culture in the industry.
As she continues to grow as a designer, McKayla hopes to inspire, encourage, and educate young women in the industrial design field so that one day there is no longer a need for organizations like ID Women Chicago.