DEI in Design Workshop Part II

Equity-Diversity-Inclusion February 3, 2023
8-9:30 am, PST / 11-12:30 pm EST

1.5 AIA LU
View workshop recording »

Free to attend; please register to get the Zoom link to join.

Format: 90 minutes total, including 50 minute breakout sessions and 25 minute whole group report out.

Ross Parker, AIA, ALEP, NOMA, Principal, IBI Group | Co-chair of A4LE DEI Committee
Julia Hawkinson
A4LE DEI Champions

Read the DEI in Design Workshop Report – Part I »

This workshop is to continue the work that began with the DEI in Design Workshop held at LearningSCAPES 2022. The goal will seek to advance social justice through design by going beyond raising awareness of issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – by identifying and generating specific, useful, and actionable ideas for implementing DEI into design processes and design outcomes. Participants will be asked to consider how inherent bias creates our architecture – and schools in particular – as they consider a broad range of topics, such as:
  • the role of design in addressing the important issues of DEI;
  • truly inclusive and equitable design processes that embrace diversity and strive for justice;
  • how to design a place that feels safe and welcoming for all students;
  • how designs that incorporate DEI function, look, and feel;
  • the suitability of a school namesake, mascot, or caricature that reflects a history or practice hostile to a school’s population;
  • how culture affects a space and human interactions;
  • how our evolving understanding of gender and identity is affecting design of safe and inclusive spaces, and how are these represented in architectural form or style;
  • how a grand entry can welcome more than the able-bodied;
  • the role of color, pattern, and materials;
  • the importance of food, performance, and self-expression;
  • racialized spaces;
  • heteronormative spaces;
  • how inequitable funding manifests the ways schools are designed, built, and maintained;
  • current stumbling blocks or challenges to addressing these – and others – in participants’ area of practice.

Exciting exploration of these broad topics was started in 8 small groups with a sharper focus on specific areas:
  1. Inclusive design – having the tough conversations (e.g. gender inclusive restrooms and locker rooms).
  2. Gender (and other bias) in digital environments.
  3. Designing for security and outdoor learning.
  4. Design balance between “hard” and “soft”, aesthetics vs. safety.
  5. Personalizing solutions – to move from equality to justice.
  6. Mental health – providing for all.
  7. Cultural diversity in our meals.
  8. Food insecurity

These will form the basis for continued focused discussion and exploration as this workshop breaks into smaller online groups. Each group will be facilitated by an A4LE DEI Champion who will report out to the whole group at the end.

Please bring your ideas, questions, and challenges you see in specific areas of DEI – a word, thought, sketch, or photograph. The discussions, ideas, and solutions that are explored and developed will be compiled into a report to be published by the A4LE DEI Committee. Part I of that report captured the thinking that emerged from the LearningSCAPES workshop and is attached here. Part II will be generated after this workshop. These workshops are the first of what are intended to an annual series held on and after LearningSCAPES with the annual reports/white papers published online to provide a repository of DEI-specific and inspiring design ideas and solutions.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Develop awareness of a broad spectrum of DEI in design processes and outcomes.
  2. Develop the capacity to identify and address issues of DEI in design processes and outcomes.
  3. Learn to consider alternative experiences and perceptions of design processes and outcomes.
  4. Appreciate the importance of using truly inclusive and equitable design process for the betterment of society at large.
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