Race and Design: Presidential Lecture Series | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Race and Design: Presidential Lecture Series

Online, Central Time
Annual Event
Race and Design webheader

The annual President’s Lecture Series on Race & Design offers candid discussions with creative thought leaders on racism and inequity in the design field. 

For Fall 2022, MCAD President Sanjit Sethi welcomes Eric Anderson, professor at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, and Raja Schaar, program director and associate professor of product design at Drexel University. They will cover an array of issues, such as how designers and companies can be more inclusive, more responsive, and ultimately, more successful to the communities they serve.

Portrait of Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson, Speaker

Eric Anderson is a professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, where for over 25 years he has taught design thinking and strategy, user-centered design methods, and experience design within the context of product design and product visualization studios at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was one of the cofounders of the Integrated Innovation Institute and an instructor and co-director of its Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services program, which brought together design, engineering, and business students to learn product and service innovation.

Prior to teaching at Carnegie Mellon, Anderson was a design practitioner for corporate departments and consulting firms, where he designed a broad variety of product solutions in medical instrumentation, trade show exhibitions, corporate identity, and consumer product spaces. He is a past president of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), member of the prestigious IDSA Academy of Fellows, and member of the Board of Trustees for The Design Foundation. He holds a BS in industrial design from the University of the Arts (formerly the Philadelphia College of Art) and a MA and MFA in design education from Ohio State University

Portrait of Raja Schaar

Raja Schaar, Speaker

Raja Schaar is program director and associate professor of product design at Drexel University. She is also a faculty member in the design research master’s program at Pennoni Honors College. She teaches courses in industrial/product design, design research, and interdisciplinary courses focused on innovation, social impact, and sustainability. 

Schaar believes that design is everywhere, and its power should be available to everyone. Each of her projects examines the social and environmental disparities in the design and innovation along the lines of race, gender, and/or disability.  

She is cofounder of Black Girls STEAMing through Dance, a community-based research and after-school program based at Drexel that engages Black girls and underrepresented minorities in STEAM through culturally sustaining pedagogies related to dance, design, and code.

Since 2020, Schaar has chaired the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. She graduated from the Georgia institute of Technology with a BS in industrial design, and completed her master’s at the School of the Art institute of Chicago.

Paul Bauknight, Moderator

Paul D. Bauknight Jr. is founder and president of the Center for Transformative Urban Design, an interdisciplinary, design-justice studio dedicated to the inclusive and equitable development of cities, neighborhoods, and towns. A graduate of Virginia Tech in architecture, Paul has worked in community-based design and development for over 30 years, creating solutions that are equitable and steeped in place. Currently he is the Spatial Justice and Social Equity fellow in residence with GGN landscape architects, Civic Scholar in Residence at Minneapolis College of Art, and co-chair for the Equity in Place committee of Reimagining the Civic Commons, a national learning network of cities using civic assets as platforms for social and economic change. He has held leadership positions at Minneapolis Parks Foundation, African American Men project, A MN without Poverty, and Urban Homeworks.