Formed in 2020 after a worldwide and long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, IDSA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) was established to hold IDSA, academia, and industry accountable for confronting the lack of DEI in industrial design with meaningful action.
The DEIC aims to:
- Significantly increase diversity and minority representation in IDSA's core programming, events, leadership teams, membership, publications, partnerships, awards, and scholarships
- Develop new pathways and partnerships that will extend IDSA’s ability to support minority and low-income communities, and to increase access to industrial design education and professional opportunities
- Be a catalyst in transforming the industrial design industry so that it better reflects our diverse country and world, and to dismantle the structural racism and inequities that permeate design and our communities
Virtual meetings for the general Council will be held at the discretion of the DEIC leaders on a quarterly basis. If you would like to attend these meetings and/or get in touch with the DEIC leaders, please email DEIC@idsa.org.
Disability in Design
Disability is an important part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that deserves more attention, understanding, and change, from the classroom to the design studio and beyond. We've launched an interview series with disabled designers and are planning a multi-part event series for Summer 2022.
IDSA has a long history of advocating for Universal Design, from the former Universal Design Section started by IDSA members in the late 1990s to the 2015 Universal Design Symposium. In 2021, the Xbox Adaptive Controller was awarded Best in Show at IDSA's 41st annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). But there is much more to do and support, especially for the disabled designers in our community and to ensure that designs are made with and for all.
Read interviews with:
Check out these articles and resources from our community:
- From Designing with Autism to Designing for Autism by Alex Lobos, IDSA, also a presenter at IDC 2021
- How to Build a Better Sweater presented by Deborah Lalush, also a presenter at IDSA's Women in Design Deep Dive 2022
- Disability LinkedIn Group to gauge interest in forming a Section (As a reminder, the process to offically establish an IDSA Section starts with this form)
More to come!
D'Wayne Edwards, IDSA, founder of Pensole Design Academy and 2020 IDSA Special Achievement Award winner, is re-opening an HBCU in Detroit, MI as Pensole Lewis College. This will be the nation's first reinstated HBCU and the first to be design-focused. Enrollment opens in March 2022. Learn more here.
Jacinda Walker, IDSA, founder and creative director of designExplorr, is working with Amazon and Diversify by Design (of which IDSA is an industry partner) to help drive inclusion, diversity, and equity across the design profession. This includes a series of Design= workshops for middle to high school-aged youth. Learn more here.
IDSA was proud to sponsor this event as part of our ongoing efforts to support initiatives centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion in industrial design and related disciplines. DEIC leaders Tracy Llewellyn, IDSA and Raja Schaar, IDSA also served as moderators for this unique virtual experience focused on the Black maker.
The Spring 2021 issue of IDSA's INNOVATION magazine is focused on the important topic of Decolonizing Industrial Design. Special thanks to guest editor Raja Schaar, IDSA and the many excellent contributors to this issue. Learn more and get your copy here.
IDSA is amplifying important conversations on this issue. Thanks to the DEIC leaders for your guidance and development of this statement. Recommended reading: Field Notes on Anti-Asian Violence, by Design as Protest.
Caterina Rizzoni, IDSA and Ti Chang, IDSA have created an initiative called Design Allyship, with the mission "to encourage industrial designers of all backgrounds to embrace allyship as a method of creating meaningful change in the industry and raising the standard for inclusion in our spaces." Learn and more and download the Allyship Guide at DesignAllyship.com.
IDSA is excited to partner with Diversify by Design (DxD) and for DEIC Co-Chair Raja Schaar, IDSA to serve on their Advisory Council. DxD is a new coalition, formed in 2021 to catalyze racial equity and justice in the design profession. Learn more and see how you can get involved at dxd.design.
IDSA is delighted to announce the members who will serve on the new IDSA Women in Design Committee and Advisory Council. These members will guide a nationwide network of WID chapters in support of women in the industrial design profession. Learn more here.
IDSA has released the first version of a DEI Event Toolkit for IDSA Chapters and event content planning teams. Support in the development of this Toolkit came from Georgia Tech design students Jill Niland, Nandita Gupta, and Nikki Mehrjerdian, as well as leaders of the DEIC and Design Foundation.
Thank you to all who supported and attended our Race in Design virtual event on April 14, with special thanks to event moderator Amanda Huynh, IDSA (Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute), and panelists Ana Mengote Baluca, IDSA (Independent Designer at lowercase innovation), Anson Cheung, IDSA (Studio Director/Partner at Bould Design), Danielle Chen, IDSA (Senior UX Designer at Ernst & Young), and Michelle Lee-Schmidt (Senior Portfolio Director at IDEO).
Donald Burlock, Jr., IDSA, author of “Superhuman by Design," Ayana Patterson, IDSA, Leader on IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and Jasmine Kent, IDSA, Apparel Designer at Under Armour, shared their stories and journeys to becoming industrial designers with host Başak Altan, IDSA.
From Unif-ID: Diversity Resources for Industrial Designers
From Marissa Louie: The Inclusion & Diversity Compendium for Designers Compiled by Louie with recommendations from dozens of diverse designers and design leaders from Expedia Group, Designers Guild, and other members of the design community
From Women Talk Design: A Reparative List for the Male-Dominated Conference: A crowd-sourced "list of designers that don’t represent the overrepresented, as recommended by their peers and admirers."
From Rachel Cargyle, drafted by Whitney Evans: Template for Holding Your Employer Accountable for Racial Justice: A downloadable PDF template for direct and intentional communication from your employers
- 2021 Women & Non-Binary ID Graduates | from Unif-ID
- Women Who Design | and other directories including API Who Design, Queer Design Club, and more
- Black Folks In Design | "Connecting Black designers to ourselves, both within and across disciplines"
- Native Designer List | "Promoting North American Indigenous graphic designers"
- 10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship | by Mireille Charper
- Transform Allyship Into Action: A Toolkit for Non-Black People | Social Justice in Medicine Coalition at USC
Jacinda Walker, IDSA, is the founder of the Cleveland, OH-based nonprofit designExplorr, whose #1DesignGoal is to create opportunities that allow underrepresented youth to participate in design activities. Jacinda has generously provided a map of organizations in the U.S. that are already addressing the lack of diversity in design by working with underrepresented youth.
To get involved, reach out to the organization closest to you. Want to add to the map? Contact Jacinda.
- Creative Reaction Lab (based in St. Louis, MO)
- Black Artists + Designers Guild (based in Brooklyn, NY)
- Indige Design Collab (based in Phoenix, AZ)
- The Designer's Workshop (based in Brooklyn, NY)
- Hue Collective (based in Atlanta, GA with volunteers nationwide)
- Black Designers Ignite (worldwide)
- Where Are the Black Designers? (worldwide)
Disclaimer: IDSA is not affiliated with these organizations and recommends that individuals conduct their own research before donating or engaging.
Archived News & Events
UPDATE: The Trump administration rescinded its policy that would bar international students who only take online courses from staying in the US, a federal judge announced Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Boston.
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) stands with our international members, students, and community pushing back against ICE’s new policy.
On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a modification to the current Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In short, the new policy would force international students currently enrolled at American colleges and universities offering exclusively online courses in the fall of 2020 to either transfer to a school offering in-person classes or depart the country.
The policy from ICE is in direct conflict to Article V of IDSA's Code of Ethics, which reads in part: "We will be responsible to design education by holding as one of our fundamental concerns the education of design students; by advocating implementation of sufficiently inclusive curricula and requiring satisfactory proficiency to enable students to enter the profession with adequate knowledge and skills..."
Actions you can take right now to protect international students:
- Sign and share petitions like these: "Allow International Students to Finish Their Degrees" and "Allow F-1 and M-1 students to remain in the U.S. with online-only classes."
- Call and email your state representatives and alma maters to express your stance. Find your state representatives here and check this list of colleges' plans of reopening in the fall. Danielle Chen, IDSA has created this email template for writing to your university in support of international students.
- Read and listen to international students' stories. Priyankaa Krishnan, IDSA recently spoke to CNN and NBC about the profound effect the announced policy change has had on her life and the lives of other international students in the U.S.
IDSA will continue to share resources as needed, reach out to educators, and speak up for the international student community.