Design Business Discoveries: Diversity Now

The theme du jour is diversity. We think it is timely and relevant, whether we’re talking about the vast scope of new design products showing up at market, or the new emphasis on diversity in renderings. We look at what industry journals are saying about the renewed commitment to inclusiveness in the design field. No time like the present.

Scalies for the Real World

First, we offer this article from Curbed. It explores why some firms are placing importance on creating more diversity in architectural renderings. You’ll also discover the lengths some shops go to get an accurate portrayal of each site’s neighborhood. They also link you to great ‘scalie’ resources for incorporating into your next drawings. Try Just Nøt the Same, Escalalatina or Skalgubbrasil.

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will

Turner Field Neighborhoods Livable Centers Initiative Study Design Distil for Perkins+Will. Photo courtesy of Curbed.

New Products That Run the Gamut

We spend 10 days a year at High Point Market, since our performance fabric technology is featured in some 60 showrooms there. We interact with designers, editors, bloggers, the famous High Point Style Spotters and of course we stop in to see all of the brands that offer our technology. As a result, too often we don’t have time to explore the show in the way we’d like.

Good thing our pal, Mark McMenamin from Interior Design magazine, has curated this superb selection of standout pieces in two categories: lighting and tables. From sinuous to geometric, earthy to colorful, there’s something for every designer who’s too busy designing to make it to market.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis.

Duna chair by André Gurgel and Felipe Bezerra for Tissot Móveis. Photo courtesy of Interior Design.

American Institute of Architects Leads Country in Commitment to Diversity

According to Architectural Record, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) intends to redesign the profession’s commitment to diversity, and recently released its Diversity and Inclusiveness recommendations in a new report that took 14 months to complete.

The Commission’s work focused on the implications of increased equity, diversity, and inclusion in architecture. Highlights of the actionable recommendations:

  • Expose children and families to architecture through K–12 Programs, with elements that help underrepresented groups to discover architecture.
  • Develop self-assessment tools to collect data on diversity and inclusion issues in the biannual AIA Firm Survey. Use results to establish best practices.
  • Create and publish best practice guidelines for architectural practices, covering such themes as career progression, work culture, pay equity, and talent recruitment.

This follows AIA’s $1 million contribution to its Diversity Expansion Scholarship, announced late last year in Architect’s Newspaper. Both summaries describe an AIA that is still finding its footing in the area of workplace diversity and the educational programs that will make it possible.

In the end, though, it was this article from The Architects Newspaper that gave us hope and inspiration. It is about the promise of inclusiveness and integrity across the entire profession in all areas of business practice.

How does your firm approach issues of diversity and inclusiveness? If you’ve discovered or implemented your own best practices then we’d love to hear from you. We might even ask you if we may share them in this space.

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