Beyond Boundaries: Examining Pathways for Diversity and Inclusion in Design

Beyond Boundaries: Examining Pathways for Diversity and Inclusion in Design

Oct 18th at Center for Architecture (600-8:00pm)

A forum gathered to examine and discuss issues of diversity in design, both in terms of current challenges & prospective drivers of change and progress.The panelist included Mark Gardner, AIA, NOMA Asst Professor, Parsons SCE; Tonja Adair, AIA, Principal of Splice-Design; Jack Travis, FAIA, Principal Jack Travis Architect, Julio Salcedo, Chair Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York; Amanda Dameron, Editor-in-Chief & Exec. Vice President of Content, Dwell; and the Moderator, Valerie Kennedy, SVP of Diversity Innovation and Strategy at New York Economic Development Corporation.

The panel discussed the source of longstanding barriers which keep students of color from entering the profession, such as licensing, access,  limited visibility and issues of compensation. The panel tackled difficult questions, such as,

  • Are there ways to help students achieve a higher level of receptivity to working with designers who incorporate other cultural traditions or perspectives into their work through more inclusive pedagogy.
  • How can we expose young students to a design education and eliminate barriers to professional pathways?
  • How can traditional media and new media platforms be leveraged to create enhanced visibility for Designers of Color?
  • Are we seeing more acceptance by high-end clients or corporations of design narratives that are inclusive of certain cultural sensibilities?  What will advance greater acceptance?

The event was followed by networking and ongoing conversations over these questions.