Program Director, Design & Merchandising, Drexel University
Chris Baeza has had an extensive 20+ year career as an accomplished design and merchandising executive with proven results working with iconic global brands. Chris has a strong background in the business of fashion and has multi-tier capabilities in men's, women's, accessories and children’s fashion with particular emphasis on brand-building for different channels of distribution. Her positions in the industry allowed her to travel all over the world, working with top companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Adidas, Nordstrom, Dockers and Nautica.
Her background in branding, textiles, design, product development and merchandising brings real-world experience to the classroom. Chris is a dynamic educator who provides opportunities to expand student’s learning with experiential and interdisciplinary course work along with international study tours. She has a passion for ethical fashion and “for benefit” business models that inform her teaching philosophy. She strives to spark engagement for learning and developing one’s character; to demonstrate the importance of relationships and collaboration; to ignite a sense of meaning and purpose and to create a classroom environment that fosters a strong work ethic.
Her research seeks to explore and answer the following overarching question: Are students who study fashion design and merchandising better prepared after graduation when ethics and entrepreneurship are an integral part of their curricula?
Outside of the classroom, Chris serves as an advisor to several companies in the industry, is a board member for Learning to Lead/Girls Take Charge and teaches workshops to high school students who are thinking about studying fashion design or merchandising.
Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design and Textile Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson) and a Master’s degree in Leadership Development from Pennsylvania State University.
Co-Presenter: Breakout Workshop
Wed - Sept. 22
6:00 pm EDT
How might we use apocalyptic science fiction or Climate Fiction (Cli-fi) to forecast the consequences of design decisions and to inspire a futures-focused approach to design? Participants will play a speculative world-building game designed by the authors, and based on themes of climate-fiction, Afrofuturism. The authors were inspired by Afro-rithms from the Future to create this Miro-based ideation and analysis exercise. The goal is to use this as a jumping off point. to inspire designers to consider how speculative environmental and societal tensions can inspire new ideas and bring new implications to life. Since its creation and initial testing in a Drexel university classroom, the authors have played the Cli-fi Futures game with design groups and at conferences and universities all over the country. They are happy to bring Cli-fi Futures to the IDSA Education Symposium and IDC attendees and to hear from the Industrial Design community how they see their classrooms and studios in the future. Attendees will leave with access to a Miro Template they may adapt for their own use.
Co-presenting with Raja Schaar, IDSA