(d)innovation Symposium Speaker: Brad Baer
An architect, designer and entrepreneur, Brad Baer brings a wealth of skills and a passion for compelling spaces to his multifaceted role at Emmy-winning Experience Design Studio, Bluecadet.
“There is a reason we ask potential hires ‘what was the last thing you taught yourself to do?’ The key to being innovative is being incredibly deliberate about educating and challenging oneself. It doesn’t matter if it’s about a super-specific aspect of artificial intelligence or fixing a clogged sink in an apartment. The key is being curious enough to dig in and resourceful enough to piece together insights. In a world that is full of free, readily available information and tools, there’s no excuse for being complacent,” Baer says.
“And the best part is, even if you aren’t successful with a particular task, you are likely becoming more empathetic about the topic or at least end up with good story to tell.”
Over the past six years at BC, Baer has helped develop the concept of Experiential Master Planning, a process that considers the integration of digital interactives into the physical environment as well as the ability to create more seamless pre-, during and post-visit experiences. He’s collaborated with mission-driven clients including the Gates Foundation, Princeton, the Smithsonian, Bloomberg and Hershey. Along the way, he’s seen the rise (and in some cases, fall) of various types of technology, including interactive screens, location-based apps, augmented reality, bone conduction, projection-mapping, artificial intelligence and light-transmitting concrete. He’s helped tell stories of everything from advanced polymers for W.L. Gore to aviation and space travel at the National Air and Space Museum to the complexity of Pete Rose’s Legacy at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Baer received a bachelor of architecture from Iowa State University and a master of architecture from Yale University. He previously worked for award-winning architecture firms KieranTimberlake, Pelli Clarke Pelli and HNTB Sport. While at Yale, he co-founded Zokos – a company which helped students crowd-fund events and was featured in Forbes, Mashable and Time. Baer has served as an adjunct professor at Temple University, where he created a new course on Design & Entrepreneurship, and has been a visiting critic at Princeton, Syracuse, Michigan State, Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured at technology and design conferences across the country including Museums and the Web, the American Alliance of Museums and the American Institute of Architects.
Baer is active with local boards in Philadelphia, including the Friends of Chester Arthur Elementary, the Friends of the Rail Park and the Mann Center for Performing Arts.