Diversity & Inclusion design research

This video provides a brief overview of Diversity & Inclusion task force chair Jacinda Walker's thesis. Find out more below.

AIGA Diversity & Inclusion aims to educate its community on the complex realities of education and practice. To that aim, below you’ll find current academic research in design which focuses on issues of diversity, and was produced by members of the AIGA Diversity & Inclusion task force. This provocative body of work enlightens our understanding of the impact diversity brings to design and provides a space where D&I research can be shared outside of the academic context to educate and inspire the general public and nurture conversations.

This content is aligned with AIGA & the Design for Good’s overall commitment to equity and expands on it by providing new ways of thinking about diversity within the design industry which includes; race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, age, and other factors that shape the creative perspective and professional experience.

Design Journeys graphicDesign Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines
by Jacinda Walker, The Ohio State University

Abstract
“Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines” presents fifteen strategic ideas to expose African American and Latino youth to design-related careers. This solutions-based thesis introduces the “Design Journey Map” which charts a design career from grade school to a seasoned professional. The design journey map reveals career competencies that cultivate soft skills together with the hards skills youth learn along the journey. The goal of this research is to inform and empower future African American and Latino youth, their parents and other educational stakeholders, about the journey it takes to obtain a design-related career, using examples from current African American and Latino designers to learn what influenced their career paths.

Learn more from these additional resources

  • Alvarado, D. (1999). Multiracial student experience: what faculty and campus leaders need to know. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 20(3).
  • Binning, K. R., Unzueta, M. M., Huo, Y. J., & Molina, L. E. (2009). The Interpretation of Multiracial status and its relation to social engagement and psychological well being. Journal of Social Issues, 65(1), 35-49.
  • Brunsma, D. L. (2005). Interracial families and the racial identification of mixed-race children: Evidence from the early childhood longitudinal study. Social Forces, 84(2), 1131-1157. doi: 10.1353/sof.2006.0007
  • Brunsma, D. L. (Ed.). (2006). Mixed messages: Multiracial identities in the “color-blind" era. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Little brown girl plaqueLittle Brown Girl: Essays on the Influence of Black Womanhood in Visual Communications
by Aldrena Corder, Vermont College of Fine Arts

Abstract
What stories are we telling about Black women in our design work? Who is telling them? And most importantly, how are these stories being told? Our personal biases affect how we view the world and this article explores the dangers when operating from the limited space of a single point of view. As also addressed in the AIGA Gender Equity Toolkit, the implicit associations we harbor in our subconscious can cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. So how do our own biases affect how we design? This paper also provides a historical illustration and discussion will focus on how Black women have been portrayed in the media.

Learn more from these additional resources

Revealing Borderland identities graphic Revealing Borderland Identities: Diaspora, Memory, Home, and Art
by Jessica Arana, California State University, Northridge

Abstract
This thesis critiques racial identity research and challenges standard racial constructs that have left out the experiences of multiracial and multi-ethnic individuals. The author utilized arts-based inquiry and embedded her autohistoria (a Chicana feminist autobiographical storytelling method) and her artful actions (narratives and visual art) as a method of disrupting traditional social scientific research. The result is a counter-narrative for the historically silenced experiences of multiracial and multi-ethnic individuals.

Learn more from these additional resources:

  • Alvarado, D. (1999). Multiracial student experience: what faculty and campus leaders need to know. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 20(3).
  • Binning, K. R., Unzueta, M. M., Huo, Y. J., & Molina, L. E. (2009). The Interpretation of Multiracial status and its relation to social engagement and psychological well being. Journal of Social Issues, 65(1), 35-49.
  • Brunsma, D. L. (2005). Interracial families and the racial identification of mixed-race children: Evidence from the early childhood longitudinal study. Social Forces, 84(2), 1131-1157. doi: 10.1353/sof.2006.0007
  • Brunsma, D. L. (Ed.). (2006). Mixed messages: Multiracial identities in the “color-blind" era. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Learn more about AIGA Diversity & Inclusion.