As we celebrate and learn from the past 20 years of awardees, and as we take stock of design practice today, we ask how we can build upon the work of those who came before us - the pioneers who shifted paradigms and gave us an elevated platform upon which we can advance social and professional progress even further. We ask how excellence can be embodied through values and how we will define those values. As a legacy of the Feminist movement within the design field, the Award of Excellence helped give visibility to women and their contributions; how do we to recognize contributions with more inclusivity and advance the profession for everyone?
This keynote panel will explore what we need to do in the next 20 years to break down barriers and open doors to everyone, and how to do it. What are effective ways to change institutions? How do we tackle persistent challenges in achieving equity in the design professions? We’ll explore how office culture and firm management have and can continue to evolve, and the roles of mentorship, support, and vulnerability to enact difficult but meaningful changes. In what ways have firms adapted to create these meaningful changes? What are specific tips and strategies that we can learn from people who have worked through these barriers so that everyone can benefit?
With the belief that everyone can be a change agent for progress, we explore how design leaders leverage their agency to make design professions accessible to more people. How do we align values among practitioners to improve equity, diversity, and true inclusivity? What does it mean to have a culture of abundance- rather than scarcity- and how does it help promote a more equitable practice? Who are the changemakers that we should emulate? How can we provide visibility and recognition more equitably that is based on the quality or significance of work?
Describe ways the design practice is changing in response to innovative business plans.
Discuss strategies for engaging communities and underrepresented groups in the design process.
Identify opportunities that organizations have used to achieve greater diversity.
Advocate within their firms to engage in inclusive practices.