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Interior Design and IIDA Announce DesignUnity, Launching Inclusivity Initiative with a Virtual Series and Talent Collective
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Chicago, November 19, 2020Interior Design and IIDA are pleased to announce DesignUnity, a partnership championing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in design.

DesignUnity will launch on December 4, 2020 with virtual programming dedicated to fostering open dialogue about the role of design in addressing social justice issues and the lack of diversity and representation within the field of interior design, architecture, and the design industry at large.

“In a profession that is predicated on maximizing and expanding the human experience, it is imperative that as an industry we fully recognize that equity, justice, humanity, and dignity are fundamental and indispensable to the practice of design,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “I’m looking forward to partnering with Cindy Allen and the Interior Design community to help facilitate these important conversations and drive change through the DesignUnity initiative.”

The inaugural DesignUnity virtual event will include a panel discussion with industry leaders on diversity, advocacy, equity, and human resources, and DesignTV by SANDOW syndicated programming. The series and conversation will continue with events in 2021.

Place+Power: The Intersection of Design and Equity
panel will consider the current challenges to building and sustaining diversity within the design community and also addressing the role design plays in creating and reflecting equity that considers key issues such as urban planning, land allocation, and design access. Cheryl S. Durst and Cindy Allen will be joined by George Bandy Jr. (Consultant); Gabrielle Bullock, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA (Perkins and Will, Los Angeles); Karen Compton (A3kconsulting); Gisue Hariri (Hariri and Hariri Architecture); Dina Griffin, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA (Interactive Design Architects); Mike Johnson, IIDA, AIA (Perkins and Will, Washington DC); Krystal Lucero, IIDA (Edwards+Mulhausen); Carlos Martinez, FIIDA, AIA (Gensler); and Mavis Wiggins, Assoc. IIDA (TPG Architecture).

“Cheryl and I have been eager to develop an Interior Design and IIDA partnership bringing meaningful content and programming to the A+D community,” said Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen. “We believe launching the DesignUnity series is the responsible first step in creating real and lasting change for a more inclusive, diverse, and optimistic future.”

The series will acknowledge the disparities in the design industry and contemplate how we can work together to close the gaps as well as shed light on where and how to find key talent from a more diverse candidate pool. Speakers will share their experiences and address mental health and wellbeing. The design community can tune-in at www.facebook.com/interiordesignmagazine or www.facebook.com/IIDAHQ.

In conjunction with DesignUnity, IIDA is developing the Talent Collective, an active network of diverse design professionals to promote equity and inclusion and facilitate opportunities and professional development. The Talent Collective will showcase people of color in the design industry and be a place to build connections and celebrate their achievements. Interior Design is the proud media sponsor of this initiative and will support the Talent Collective by driving awareness to its audience of design professionals.

For media inquiries please contact:
Laura Steele, SANDOW
lsteele@sandow.com, 917-934-2836
Ciara Merouan, IIDA
ciara@jochicago.com, 708-800-6764