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NEW YORK—May 13, 2010. Even before the 2010
U.S. Census is concluded, sufficient evidence exists that the
ethnic and racial makeup of the United States is changing. In
contrast, recent surveys of the design profession show that it is
still overwhelmingly homogenous in its racial composition. A task
force put together by AIGA, the professional association for
design, aims to change that by telling the story of diverse
designers through “Design Journeys,” an educational and
inspirational program consisting of a virtual gallery including
biographies, a hands-on traveling exhibition and a special
collection in the AIGA Design Archives online.
“If we don't actively seek to reflect the changing racial and
ethnic composition of our society, the design profession may well
find itself marginalized,” said AIGA Executive Director Richard
Grefé. “If the profession as a whole cannot communicate to the
diversity of cultures that comprise the national and global
populations from its own experiences and backgrounds, how can it be
considered an effective and critical agent in the economy?”
The AIGA Task Force on Professional Diversity developed a list
of recommendations for increasing diversity within the profession.
Among the stated goals were to create awareness of outstanding
designers from culturally and racially diverse backgrounds by
creating traveling shows of their work.
The Design Journeys project seeks to both celebrate the lives
and achievements of 25 selected practitioners and encourage
aspiring designers from all backgrounds to consider design as a
viable and rewarding career.
Online, the “Design Journeys” project takes the form of a
digital archive about
the professional lives, contributions and portfolios of
historically underrepresented designers. In person, a traveling
exhibition entitled “Design Journeys: You Are
Here” will kick off at the AIGA National Design Center on May
20. Designed by TODA, the
exhibition emphasizes visitor participation and invites young
people to consider their place in design.
“'You Are Here' relates to the journey of the exhibition
attendee, both physically and metaphorically,” said Marcos Chavez,
principal at TODA. “Visitors will first get to know successful
individuals who have brought diversity to the profession. Then
they'll enter a truly participatory experience, where people ask
themselves questions about their own cultures. Everyone, regardless
of race, gender and age, will have the opportunity to realize their
own diversity and participate in a public dialogue about their
viewpoints on the subject.”
Visitors outside New York City—indeed, all over the world—will
be encouraged to participate online by uploading their photos and
telling their own stories about their perspectives, unique
characteristics and design.
“Design Journeys: You Are Here” will be on display at the
AIGA National Design
Center from May 20 through July 23, 2010. The gallery is free
and open to the public during exhibition hours.
AIGA members will be invited to a private opening reception on
May 19, where they will be able to meet some of the designers
featured in the exhibition.
Monday through Thursday: 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m–5:00 p.m.
The gallery is located at 164 Fifth Avenue (between 21st and 22nd
Streets) in New York. (map)
Admission is free and open to the public. Group tours are
available for students upon
AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates
thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and
empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers.
AIGA's mission is to advance designing as a professional craft,
strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA
remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization
for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.
Today AIGA serves more than 20,000 members through 65 chapters and
200 student groups.
For further information, please contact:Jennifer
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3136 Fax 212 807 1799
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
Section: About AIGA -
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