Roberta H. Gruber held the position of Head of the Department of Design for eleven years. Prior to that she was the Director of the Design & Merchandising (D&M) Program. As a tenured Associate Professor in the Fashion Design program, she has resumed her focus on personal creative work and returned to the classroom at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. She holds a Bachelors degree in Fashion Design and a Masters degree in Arts Management from Drexel University. Roberta has a strong background in art, design, illustration and the business of design. She began her teaching career after spending several years in industry as president of her own dress company and as a designer for other nationally recognized firms. She also created wearable art and has been hired to develop fashion illustrations and graphic images for a variety of companies and organizations.
Ms. Gruber was recently commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) to create fashion and other museum related illustrations for a variety of items sold in the Museum stores as well as a motion graphic piece for the Industrial Fabrics Association International. Roberta has also shown and received awards for digital paintings and drawings in local exhibitions.
She is the author of several articles within The St. James Press, "Fashion Encyclopedia" and is also the author and illustrator of "Fashion Images", Prentice Hall, 1999, a text on fashion illustration. She has taught at Drexel for over 30 years and curated art and design related exhibitions for the Drexel University, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery. She has spent several terms abroad teaching at the FIE (Foundation for International Education) in London as part of the D&M program's study abroad curriculum. Roberta is the Educational Chair of the Collab Board at the PMA, which sponsors an annual Student Design Competition for national colleges and universities with departments inclusive of a focus in design disciplines. Roberta Gruber has served as an expert witness for major design companies and legal firms regarding intellectual property and/or insurance related issues with significant positive outcomes.
Teaching Philosophy: As a teacher, I enjoy introducing students to the world of art, design, fashion, product development and the marketing of ideas. I help them to investigate the relationships between the arts and the business of design along with the two and three-dimensional expression of their concepts. I believe strongly that a student develops a particular vision; that he or she assumes a unique, individual attitude toward design that is enriched by personal influences. It is important that they develop a strong sense of themselves as designers and/or merchandisers that will serve them as they engage in the highly competitive workplace. Witnessing their growth and development as they evolve to a point where they can present a professional portfolio or business plan is an enhancement of my own talents. Ultimately, I learn from my students, as they learn from me.