SUNY Purchase︎(DES3240)Design Issues

Where are the Black Designers?

Required Viewing


My 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)

Further Reading/viewing