Inclusion


Amplifying Accessibility and Abolishing Ableism: Designing to Embolden Black Disability Visual Culture
An excerpt from from An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design.


The Editors
Advocacy
At its core, advocacy is an art of creative benevolence: to advocate for someone (or something) is at once an act of generosity and a form of compassion, a mark of conscience and an expression of citizenship.



On Fighting the Typatriarchy
"My intent was to make a typeface that stands for the strength of a woman at different times in her life. In Indian culture, a woman is expected to be the powerhouse of responsibilities." An excerpt from Feminist Designer.


Cindy Chastain, Jessica Helfand, Ellen McGirt, Lee Moreau
Design Observer x Mastercard
For three days in March, we gathered with some sixty people—designers and scholars, social entrepreneurs and independent consultants, creative leaders and senior practitioners from across a range of industries—to discuss the current state of everything from collaboration and craft to cultural transformation, technological innovation, and the social and systemic changes impacting the ways we live and work.


Don Norman
Design for a Better World
An excerpt from Don Norman’s new book, Design for a Better World.


Dana Arnett, Kevin Bethune
S10E12: Decolonizing Design
Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook is a guidebook to the institutional transformation of design theory and practice by restoring the long-excluded cultures of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities.


Daniella Zalcman
What We See
The inaugural book from Women Photograph, What We See, is a broad survey that represents the equally broad careers of our members.


Dana Arnett, Kevin Bethune
S10E6: Richard Ting
Richard Ting is the Vice President of Design for Revenue at Twitter.


Sloan Leo, Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive S2E10: The Automatic Door
The automatic door is a part of most peoples everyday lives, and certainly considered a convenience. But when you walk up to one does it feel magical? Futuristic? Frustrating? On this episode, Lee Moreau and Sloan Leo discuss the automatic door, and how we can design thresholds of all kinds to be inviting to all people.


Sloan Leo, Lee Moreau
The Futures Archive S2E3: The Blender
Do you have a blender? Do you use it? Does it make your life more convenient? On this episode of The Futures Archive Lee Moreau and Sloan Leo discuss the blender, gender roles, and power structures.


Sloan Leo
The Infrastructure of Care: Community Design, Healing & Organizational Post-Traumatic Growth
This essay interrogates the relationship between power, decision-making, and organizational healing. It asserts that community design as a practice offers a theoretical framework for organizational dynamic healing that structurally enables those harmed to set the pace and nature of resolution and repair.


Maurice Cherry
Make the Path by Talking
The Birth of Revision Path: The year is 2006.


adrienne maree brown + Lesley-Ann Noel
This Is Our Time!
adrienne maree brown on design, liberation and transformation as told to Lesley-Ann Noel.


The Editors
Ritesh Gupta + Useful School
Useful School is the world’s first pay-what-you-can online product design school for people of color.


Lee Moreau + Grace Jun
The Futures Archive S1E5: The Uniform
On this episode of The Futures Archive designer Lee Moreau and this episode’s guest host, Grace Jun, discuss the notion of a uniform, and the importance of inclusivity in human-centered design.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S9E10: Quemuel Arroyo
Quemuel Arroyo is the first ever chief accessibility officer at the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.


The Editors
Terms of Service: June 2021
In advance of this weekend’s second annual Where Are The Black Designers conference, we are pleased to share this interview with some of their members.


Connect 4
Min Lew and Zaiah Sampson: Finding Your Creative Voice
Feeling confident in yourself and your work—especially when you’re still a student—can be a challenge.


Connect 4
Kojo Boateng and Brian Jean: Making Decisions, Making Your Mark
Brian Jean and Koto Boateng talk about decision-making as a creative, about being a Black designer, today and in the past—and why now is a great time to enter the design world.


Kaleena Sales
Teaching Black Designers
The vibrant complexities of the urban landscape create visual impressions in the mind, eventually serving as a mental library of stored images to use or reference when necessary.


Ellen Lupton
Confidence Equity
Are we born with confidence, or do we earn it? If we don’t have it, how can we get it?


Connect 4
Victor Newman and Ana Amaro: Becoming an Animator
In this episode, hear student Ana Amaro and her mentor, creative director Victor Newman talk about how they each found their calling and first encountered their animated favorites.


Connect 4
Natasha Jen and Adnan Bishtawi: How Do You Survive as a Designer?
How can you stay inspired, make great work, take care of yourself—and still pay the bills?


Connect 4
Forest Young and Sakinah Bell: Follow Your Curiosity, Find Your Inspiration
Finding joy, purpose, and personal evolution through creation.


Connect 4
Eddie Opara and Tyriq Moore: How Do You Build Knowledge as a Designer?
How learning and discovering new things is at the heart of being a good designer.


Connect 4
Man-Wai Cheung and Angel Blanco: “Mom, Dad, I Want to Be a Designer”
Man-Wai Cheung, founder and creative director of Adolescent and design student Angel Blanco, talk about choosing a creative career as first generation immigrants—and how they each explained that choice to their parents.


Harriet Gridley
Terms of Service: March Edition
Harriet Gridley, UK director of No Isolation, makes the case for a technological solution to loneliness.


Laetitia Wolff
Design is Capital: Five Lessons I Learned from Lille
Useful ingredients to bring design to cities.


Isometric Studio
Terms of Service: November Edition
Providing tangible steps to rethink institutions from the ground up and examine meaningful alternatives.


George Aye
How We Shook Up the World’s Oldest Student Design Competition
A story in Design Observer started a life-changing collaboration between the RSA in London and a small design studio in Chicago, Illinois.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E4: Ari Melenciano
Ari Melenciano is an artist, creative technologist, educator, and the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation.


Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel
Terms of Service: October Edition
I got a bit quieter and listened a bit more, noting blindspots about critical theory, pedagogy, identity, and inclusivity. As I listened, I researched critical theory, anthropology, and social justice concepts I thought could improve the kinds of conversations I was hearing.


Debbie Millman
Maurice Cherry
On this episode, Debbie talks with Maurice Cherry about his education and career, and about why the profession of graphic design has been so slow to acknowledge Black designers.



Scott Boylston
Design, Belonging, and Human Capabilities
The space between what we hope to achieve in our lives and the realization of those desires is riddled with contradiction and confrontation.


Scott Boylston
Human Capabilities and Design
Blindness to social injustice doesn’t diminish its existence.


Steven Heller
Tolerance: Spreading the Word
THE TOLERANCE PROJECT is a traveling poster collection that celebrates and honors the starting point of all meaningful discourse: tolerance.


Laura Scherling
A Tale of Long Island City: Between Industrialization, Innovation, and Gentrification
The multi-faceted aspects of development in Long Island City, with creative and technological development deeply ingrained in it’s rich urban identity and history.


Steven Heller
Closing New York’s Penal Colony
How design is playing an integral role in the campaign to close Rikers Island.



Observed


In stripping objects of all but their essential elements, the Shakers not only exposed the elegance inherent in even the most humble of items but also reinvented the concept of beauty itself. With its emphasis on durability, functionality, and timeless minimalism, Shaker design has had a profound effect on generations of artists, architects, and designers. (“Do all your work as though you had a thousand years to live,” urged Shaker leader Ann Lee, “and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow. ) Now, they have their very own postage stamp.

At MIT on June 27—Designing With, Not For: a conversation between Richard Perez, founding director of the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town; Amy Smith, founding director of the MIT D-Lab; Surbhi Agrawal, 2022 MAD Design Fellow, urban planner, and data scientist at Sasaki; and Aditya Mehrotra, instructor of Mobiles for Development at MIT. This event is part of this year's Design Research Society (DRS) conference, on the theme of recovery, reflection, and reimagination.

Multi-Species Worlding is an experiment, for no more than twenty people, into the felt perspective of another species, in which participants will practice speaking as that species, and build shared worlds that serve all of life.  This workshop brings together multi-species artists, architects, researchers, storytellers, communicators, educators, entrepreneurs, designers, and anyone curious about co-creating worlds where all species thrive. 

Coming this fall, join a pivotal gathering of minds from Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, China, Kenya, Germany, Denmark, Turkey, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Finland, Hong Kong, and the United States for Designing Nature and Humanity-Centered Future,  at ISMAT Portimão (in Portugal's Algarve) from 8 to 11 of October. Interested? You have until the end of July to submit an abstract.

“Must be buff, charged with the emblem of the State, a pine tree proper, in the center, and the North Star, a mullet of 5 points, in blue in the upper corner; the star to be equidistant from the hoist and the upper border of the flag, the distance from the 2 borders to the center of the star being equal to about 1/4 of the hoist, this distance and the size of the star being proportionate to the size of the flag .”  The State of Maine is seeking design ideas before voters in November determine whether to adopt a new, more distinctive flag.

Picture this: A photographer wins an AI Image competition with a real photo. "I wanted to show that nature can still beat the machine and that there is still merit in real work from real creatives," said Digital Artist Miles Astray before he was disqualified. 

The American artist Kehinde Wiley—whose work he describes as “shedding light on the inequities Black and Brown people face in our society,”—has been accused of sexual misconduct. Wiley has denied the charges, but two museums have canceled upcoming exhibitions of his work.

In tandem with this exhibition (on view through the end of January 2025),  a new, five-episode podcast—hosted by British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn—traces the evolution of Gae Aulenti through the voices of friends, curators, and a range of international architects.

The Los Angeles Design Festival is looking for new board members.

The Obama Foundation is looking for a new VP of Communications.

An Idaho pub owner celebrates “Homosexual Awesomeness Month” because “Pride is too extreme.”

SCOTUS gets it right on tribal health care:  In Becerra v. San Carlos Apache Tribe, the justices ruled that the federal government will have to pay more for health care on the reservations, making it a ruling on sovereignty

Something’s going on at Baraboo High School, y’all. Wisconsin? Thoughts?

Anne H. Berry, whose work focuses on representation and diversity in design as well as ethnic and racial disparities in the field, has been selected to be the next Director of the School of Design in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at UIC Chicago.

Read about the fifty people helping to shape Chicago. (Gensler's Andre Brumfield leads the charge!)

You need a Wall Street Journal digital subscription to view this in its entirety, but the story needs to be shared whether you read it or not: high-profile school shootings, and the fear they spread, are shaping how architects design the modern American school.

Anna Gerber and Anna Holsgrove's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming is a new quarterly magazine focused on the relationship between technology and an unlikely trio of influences: ancient wisdom, spiritual practices, and natural intelligence. Their first issue is expected later this summer.

Grace Jun's new book on adaptive, wearable design—Fashion, Disability, and Co-design—is,  in her own words, “a practical book on the intricacies of design with examples of the many ways people can collaboratively work together”. Jun will be speaking on May 31st at Rizzoli Bookstore at 6pm in New York City.  (She was our guest on The Design of Business | The Business of Design back in season two.)

At the Business Design Centre in London, New Designers—now in its 39th year—brings together a whopping 3,000 design graduates every year from over 100 universities. The first week (26–29 June) highlights fashion and costume, contemporary design crafts, textiles, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and precious metalwork. The second week (3–6 July 2024) showcases furniture, product design, industrial design, spatial design, graphic design, illustration,  animation, motion art, digital art, and game design.

In a shocking announcement this morning, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia announces it will cease operations effective on June 7, 2024.

In partnership with the IKEA Foundation, What Design Can Do supports creative climate solutions aimed at fostering a more circular society. The winning projects in their latest challenge—Redesign Everything–include approaches such as bio-cement reef structures that mimic oyster reefs, bead alternatives designed to eliminate microplastics, and the use of agro-industrial fruit waste to create sustainable biomaterials.

Can you taste design? Designer, researcher, and author of Why Fonts Matter Sarah Hyndman has been conducting “typosensory research” experiments into how our senses “sway our perception.” 

A Banksy museum… with no Banksys?

Three Black men are suing American Airlines for racial discrimination, alleging all Black male passengers — none of whom were traveling together — were removed from their departing flight "because a white male flight attendant had complained about an unidentified passenger's body odor.” In 2017, the NAACP issued a travel advisory warning Black travelers that the airline had a “corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias.” The advisory was lifted in 2018.

How do you know it’s racist if you didn’t watch it? This was largely the response from the three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel, who appeared unmoved by the accusation of a white former manager that his employer, Honeywell International, had fired him for refusing to attend a brief training session on unconscious bias. “It would be very different if your client had watched it and came in and said, ‘I found it discriminatory for the following reasons,’” Circuit Judge Amy St. Eve said to plaintiff Charles Vavra’s lawyer. Vavra sued Honeywell in 2021.

The not-so-quiet panic from climate scientists.

Donald Trump has been framing Chinese immigrants as mostly “military-age” men, here to stir trouble from within. “And it sounds like to me, are they trying to build a little army in our country? Is that what they’re trying to do?” he said in a campaign stop last month. But one immigrant who traveled through Ecuador to the U.S. border told the AP that it’s not true. “It is impossible that they would walk on foot for over one month” to organize an attack, he said. “We came here to make money.” Another, who hopes to make enough to bring his wife and children, said, “This trip is deadly. People die. The trip isn’t suitable for women — it’s not suitable for anyone.” 

“You need to kick that f***ing door down!” Vice President Kamala Harris was the guest of honor at an AAPI Heritage Month event this week and encouraged attendees to break through the barriers they still face. “We have to know that sometimes, people will open the door for you and leave it open, sometimes they won't. And then you need to kick that f***ing door down," as the audience cheered. "Excuse my language," she laughed.

This is why we can’t have nice things. An art installation project called the Dublin Portal experience, a 24/7 live cam and screen offering a real-time link between Dublin and New York City, is being ruined by “a small minority of people” doing “inappropriate things.”

More than 100 high-profile French art world figures have signed an open letter supporting the Palais de Tokyo in Paris after longtime patron Sandra Hegedüs withdrew her funding, saying, “I don’t want to be associated with the new, very political direction at the Palais de Tokyo...dictated by the defence of wokeism, anti-capitalism, pro-Palestine, etc.’” At issue was the show Past Disquiet, which focuses on four “museums in exile” and is constructed as a touring exhibit. From the response to Hegedüs: “These words and these methods, using a popular tribunal on social networks… are dangerous for the art world, for artists and for the freedom of institutions, as well as for our democracy.”



Jobs | June 22