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Raja Schaar
Raja Schaar
Associate Professor, Associate Program Director, Product Design



URBN Center, 270B

Raja Schaar, IDSA is Associate Program Director and Assistant Professor of Product Design at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. She also co-chairs IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. She is an industrial designer with an extensive background in museum exhibit design who is passionate about ways design can make positive impact intersections with health, the environment, and education.

Raja’s interdisciplinary research focuses on addressing inequities in maternal health; methods for engaging black girls and underrepresented minorities in STEM/STEAM through design and technology; innovation and entrepreneurship education; and biologically-inspired design and sustainability.

Raja currently co-leads two collaborative research projects. She works with faculty from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Design and Merchandising Programs the development of low-cost wearables for maternal health. She is co-PI on an interdisciplinary research project funded by the US Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Grant entitled “Black Girls STEAMing through Dance,” where she works with students and faculty from Drexel's departments of Computing and Informatics, Dance, and the School of Education to uncover STEAM identities, literacies, and self-concept in African American girls through the development of wearable technology. Raja is also PI on a VentureWell Faculty Grant that connects Product Design, Biomedical Engineering, and Entrepreneurship to examine the role of clinical immersion on product innovation on campus.  

As an educator, Raja works to infuse Drexel’s Product Design Curriculum with society-centered design principles that address impactful, real-world problems. She teaches a number of traditional and research-based studios across the curriculum, but her favorite courses to teach are Interdisciplinary Product Design, Bio-Inspired Design and Sustainability, Design and Waste, and Wearables for Health.

Before joining Drexel's Product Design faculty, Raja taught at Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at GA Tech and Emory University. Raja received her BSID from Georgia Tech in 2001 and completed her graduate work at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003.



BS Industrial Design, Georgia Tech, 2001
MA Art Education, School of the Art institute of Chicago (SAIC), 2003

Ackerman, J. and Schaar, R. (2016). *Clinical Observational Design Experience – A Large Design Oriented Clinical Immersion Course Based in an Emergency Department. *Unpublished Paper to be presented *at *VentureWell Open 20th annual conference, Portland*. *

Schaar, R. Jacobson, M., and Rains J. (2015). *Jump-starting Biomedical Design Education in the Sophomore Year: A human-centered approach. *Paper presented at VentureWell Open 19th annual conference, Washington D.C*. *

Schaar, R. and Shankwiler, K. *Design Gateway: Pedagogical Discussion of a Second-Year Industrial Design Studio*. 24th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, 2008.

  • Teaching Museum North, IMPACT: *World War II, *Roswell, GA, 2016
  • Teaching Museum North, *Depression Era Kitchen Recreation, *Roswell, GA, 2014
  • GA Tech Biomedical Engineering Display Cases, Atlanta, GA, 2014
  • Old Stone Church BiRacial History Project Historical Markers, Atlanta, GA 2009 & 2012, 2014
  • Teaching Museum North, *Depression Era Kitchen, *Roswell, GA, 2014
  • 60 Years of Distinguished Women at the GA Tech College of Architecture*, Atlanta, GA, 2013
  • XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design, *Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, 2013
  • de Sakhnoffsky: The Illustrations and Works of Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky*, Atlanta, GA, 2013
  • GA Tech College of Architecture Library Exhibition Windows, Atlanta, GA 2012
  • GA Tech *Career Services History *Wall, Atlanta, GA, 2012
  • Zoo Atlanta, *Traders Alley *AZA concept booklet; Atlanta, GA, 2011
  • MODA, *Love Nests: Photographs and Objects*; Atlanta, GA, 2010
  • National Park Service, Ocmulgee National Monument; Macon, GA, 2009
  • Wind Creek Casino, Atmore AL, 2009
  • Museum of Design Atlanta, *Made in GA: Made in School*; Atlanta, GA 2008
  • Rome Area History Museum, Capital Campaign Concept Book & Sketches; Rome, GA, 2007
  • American Museum of Natural History, *Darwin’s Study*, Traveling Exhibition, 2007
  • GA Sea Turtle Center, Illustrations; Jekyll Island, GA, 2007
  • The Audubon Institute, Fish Tank Façade; New Orleans, LA, 2007
  • Evansville African American Museum; Evansville, IN, 2007
  • Greensboro Historical Museum, *Welcome to the Gate City!*; Greensboro, NC, 2006
  • National Park Service, Andersonville Prisoner of War Museum, Who is a POW?; Andersonville, GA, 2006
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Multimedia, *Reflections of Culture*; Atlanta, GA, 2006
  • Imagineit! Children’s Museum of Atlanta, *Acorn’s Garden*; Atlanta, GA, 2000