No discipline more powerfully represents the integration of creative innovation, aesthetic sensibility, and practical problem solving than that of design. Design is the art and science of implementing a creative vision that connects communities and expresses universal aspirations in surprising and inspired ways. Yet, for all of the universal themes and values represented by the fields of architecture and design, the talent and perspectives associated with the design profession remain stubbornly monolithic.
One has to wonder how diversity can be hardwired into the world of design in a way that is sustainable and impactful. The answer requires a hard look at why the issue of diversity continues to pose a challenge in terms of the profession’s talent pipeline and the persistent opportunity gap that affects its professionals of color.
This panel will focus on the issue of diversity in design, both in terms of current challenges and prospective drivers of change and progress. There are three core areas that will frame the discussion:
How does the design industry, along with its stakeholders, create collective buy-in and an industry-wide blueprint for activating long-term success in promoting more diversity and inclusion?
Does the issue of diversity and inclusion in the design profession stem from:
a) Longstanding barriers to entry such as licensing, education/talent pipelines, and access to clients, capital and experiences that can position these designers more competitively
b) Limited visibility, mentorship, and championing of the work created by designers of color by industry influentials and influentials in other fields
Can this issue truly be resolved? Have current strategies re: minority business procurement initiatives, internship programs, and scholarships really had meaningful impact?
Organized by: Center for Architecture and Dwell
Amanda Dameron, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Vice President of Content, Dwell
Valerie Kennedy, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Innovation and Strategy, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Mark Gardner, Principal, Jaklitsch|Gardner
Jack Travis, FAIA, Principal, Jack Travis, FAIA ARCHITECT
Tonja Adair, AIA, Principal, Splice Design
Julio Salcedo, Chair, Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York