AIGA Wiki Scholars Program will provide training for AIGA members to add and expand design knowledge base on Wikipedia
New York, NY—Today, AIGA, the professional association for design, and Wiki Education, announced a new AIGA Wiki Scholars program to expand design histories including publicly recognizing historically excluded designers. Through a 6-week AIGA Wiki Scholars course that will begin in January 2022, AIGA will launch a training program to expand and contribute to Wikipedia’s open access platform.
“This creates a focused opportunity for our design community to proactively build and expand the stories, histories, and contributions of designers to our world. I am proud that we are taking steps to expand public knowledge, build more comprehensive design histories, and create a space for us to recognize designers who have shaped our culture and society,” said AIGA Executive Director, Bennie F. Johnson.
Under the guidance of Wiki Education staff, AIGA participants will collaboratively improve and create biographies of designers and other artists currently missing or underrepresented on Wikipedia. We know that these histories are missing when it comes to more diverse histories of women and people of color. According to Wiki Education, only 18% of biographies on English Wikipedia are of women. What AIGA has found in a new research initiative is that women make up 60% of the design community. We can work to address these disparities and build awareness and a more comprehensive and inclusive understanding of the value design brings to the world.
“We know that the canon of design and designers has largely been limited and homogeneous,” said Wiki Education Executive Director, Frank Schulenburg. “We’re excited that this partnership with AIGA will bring the magic of design to Wikipedia by expanding the canon, and more accurately reflecting the breadth and diversity of designers who contribute to our world.”
This collaboration highlights AIGA and Wiki Education’s commitment to amplifying diverse communities and their contributions to the public. In October, applications will open for AIGA designers to apply.
“Knowledge is a key component of building and recognizing a design profession for all,” added Johnson.
This initiative will be announced at the AIGA Annual Design Conference, September 20 - 24, 2021. AIGA’s Bennie Johnson and Wiki Education’s Frank Schulenburg will kick off the Conference with a Fireside Chat to talk about the power of community knowledge, creation, and sharing. The chat will also be live streamed on AIGA’s LinkedIn and Facebook channels.