Design and Diversity: Getting started

Three girls of colour smile at the camera. They are in a room with rows of chairs. As the Black Lives Matter movement continues across various industries, it becomes clear that white people still dominate. According to one survey in the US, just 3% of designers identify as Black. Consequently, things we use every day are designed from white experience. And young people don’t see designers who look like them. But just employing more people of colour or from different backgrounds is no guarantee of culture change. It’s culture change that makes the difference – not just workforce diversity. 

Black boys in action on the basketball court.An article in FastCompany discusses how young people of colour are being offered free courses to develop their design skills. Mo Woods who works for Microsoft explains how design agencies can connect with communities as part of the change process. He runs a not for profit that offers free design courses and workshops. It shows how design can be a viable career. Getting into communities isn’t easy. Mo Woods provides the example of starting a basketball program and then introducing a design element such as sneakers or team logo. This creates an entry point for introducing young people to design. Woods’ project is called the Inneract Project.

The title of the article is, One Microsoft designer’s quest to make the industry more inclusive.  An interesting project where designers also end up on their own learning curve.

There is another article on the same topic, People of color are wildly underrepresented in design. This game hopes to help fix it. It’s about a board game.