• Designing Resistance, Building Coalitions, Black in Design Conference 2017
    Gund Hall, Harvard University
    Oct 06, 2017 to Oct 08, 2017
    Harvard University-Graduate School of Design-African American Student Union

2017 Black in Design Conference: Designing Resistance, Building Coalitions

The Black in Design conference promotes discourse around the agency of the design profession to address and dismantle institutional barriers faced by communities of color, and serves as a necessary platform for rectifying the current imbalance of representation for people of color across the design fields. The 2017 conference builds on the success of the 2015 inaugural conference, which brought together more than 400 design researchers and practitioners from across the United States, and is organized around five sessions and two keynote lectures that follow various aspects of this year’s theme: Designing Resistance, Building Coalitions. Sessions will include such topics as Exploring and Visualizing Identities, Communicating Values, Mobilizing and Organizing, Design Futuring, and Designing Our Future. The conference will take place on October 6–8, 2017.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union (GSD AASU) was founded in 2012 by Loeb Fellow, Jean Lauer, and landscape architecture student, Tracie Curry. Working closely with the Dean’s Diversity Initiative and Admissions, it promotes racial and ethnic diversity at the GSD. It also actively contributes to the GSD and Harvard’s community through events and exhibitions. Recent activities have included: InFORMing Justice discussion and workshop; the 2015 Black in Design Conference; Black Lives Matter installations at the GSD; guest lectures, and service projects. The group was also recently honored by the Boston NAACP with the Next Generation Leadership Award. Beyond the work it does at the GSD, the group also helps to foster a strong network of professionals, who continue to positively impact communities of color through various fields of practice.

The 2017 Black in Design conference is organized by AASU co-presidents Natasha Hicks (MUP/MDes ’19) and Marcus Mello (MArch I/MUP ’18), and AASU members Amanda Miller (MDes ’17), Armondo Sullivan (MUP ’18), and Chanel Williams (MUP ’18).

The mission of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is to advance the professions concerned with the planning and design of buildings and landscapes, together with their urban, suburban, and rural settings; and to matriculate students poised to challenge the conventions of design and transform the built environment in an increasingly complex and competitive global landscape.