SUNY Purchase︎(DES3240)Design Issues
Where are the Black Designers?
BackgroundMy goal in talking about underrepresented or marginalized groups is not to simply present some designers from said community and call it a day but to make it a part of the texture of our discussions. Also, to my mind, the idea that there should be more representation in the field is not a polemical or radical idea. It should (hopefully) go without saying. The question is why and how. More specific questions related to that below.
Questions to think about
- When is a company or institution at fault for not seeking out a more diverse workforce?
- How much does an anonymous but diverse studio or firm actually matter?
- How much does representation matter if your employees are being exploited (specifically related to being black in this case, but also interrelated with this, for their time, because of how they identify, their immigration status)?
- What does inclusion mean when much of what is typically considered canon (in design but obviously in other fields) is a sequence of white dudes?
- What does industrial inclusion mean if the faculty’s diversity does not line up with that of the student body?
- How do you value representation in the field and capitalist success versus representation in the discourse and canon? (not meant to be mutual exclusive but there is a distinction there)
- Design + Education panel, feat. Eric Hu, Hassan Rahim and Erik Brandt from AIGA Eye on Design Vimeo︎ They don’t speak expicitly about diversity and inclusion until the end about 30 minutes in, but there’s a portion of the discussion where Eric Hu and Hassan are talking about their backgrounds and experience in the field and Erik Brandt is relatively silent
- Design Matters podcast homepage︎(here’s an experiment, look at this page and keep scrolling until you see a person of color, then a designer of color, then a designer who is specifically black. It has definitely gotten better, but still worth trying/experiencing. Also the Warren podcast is cute)
- Scratching the Surface podcast︎ (try the same experiment as Design Matters)
- Transcending the Problems of the Black Graphic Designer to Success in the Marketplace by Cheryl D. Miller︎ (note that this is her thesis, it is long)
- Black Designers: Missing in Action by Cheryl D. Miller
- Why is Graphic Design 93% White? by Brenda Mitchell-Powell from the AIGA Journal ︎
- Designer as Author by Michael Rock︎ Putting this here because it is “important” in design, but also because it relates the concept of the author from literary theory and relates it to the ideas of authorship and anonymity in the context of design (firms and studios)