Solon, Ohio—Tarkett is supporting the Design Museum Foundation as a national title sponsor for its upcoming exhibition, We Design: People. Practice. Progress. According to the company, the sponsorship is an important step in a multi-year plan to make diversity, equity and inclusion a major focus, both internally and in collaboration with the architecture and design industry.
For years, the A&D community has been discussing the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion on its teams, but progress has been slow and intermittent. Despite a variety of efforts to improve, architecture continues to be among the least diverse professions in America, says Brenden Jackson, writer/editor for Gensler A&D firm.
“As we work to introduce more young people to design, we need to turn a mirror on our industry, an industry that is predominantly white and male,” said Sam Aquillano, executive director of the Design Museum Foundation. “Eighty-six percent of graphic designers are white, despite the interior design industry being more female than male, only twenty-five percent of firm leaders are women, and only two-percent of licensed architects identify as African American. How can we claim to be a human-centered process and industry with such staggering inequities?”
Tarkett aims to be a collaborative partner to and member of the architecture and design community, and in response, has committed to a series of initiatives over the next several years to support real and measurable change.
“Our relationship with Design Museum on the We Design exhibit is an important step to bringing broader awareness and collaboration around this need,” said Mausi McDaniel, vice president of brand and design marketing, Tarkett. “We realize this is no small endeavor, but diversifying our talent is both the right thing to do, and critical to the future relevance of our professional and cultural contributions.”
We Design is a multimedia exhibition celebrating a variety of creative professionals—of differing ages, genders, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities—showcasing their unique career paths through stories and photos, along with examples of their work throughout their careers, including design process imagery and artifacts. The exhibition also explores the need for more diversity in the design and innovation industries through quantitative and qualitative data visualizations and case studies.
“[Tarkett’s] support will enable us to bring We Design to more locations both locally and nationally, to showcase and celebrate the range of career paths, people and professions in the design industry,” said Liz Pawlak, vice president of Design Museum Foundation.
The exhibition will feature Phil Freelon, architect and designer of Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; Debra Latour, occupational therapist and prosthetic designer; Sabrina Dorsainvil, director of civic design for Boston; Denise Rush, Dean of the School of Interior Architecture at Boston Architectural College; Saba Ghole, co-founder and chief creative officer of NuVu Studio; and Phil Kongtcheu, founder and CEO of eMotionRx. Also featured are Jeff Staple, apparel and graphic designer and founder of Staple Design; Liz Ogbu, urban and social impact designer, Studio O; Meg Zany, street artist; and Taniya Nayak, interior designer and founder of Taniya Nayak Design.
For more information, visit tarkettna.com.