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© 2019 Designing in Color

GRAND INTRO

October 1, 2016

Hello and welcome to the Designing in Color digital platform! Through this blog, our goal is to connect and create a community for design students and professionals. Each blog post will challenge and open up dialogue on a variety of topics impacting the design community, both historical and current. Our objective here at DC is to diversify the way architecture is taught and practiced to include the identities of people of color. Professors and employers are usually white males whose everyday experiences differ from that of people of color. Designing more socially conscious projects that directly affect and represents your experience, is commonly met by subtle dismissal or persuasive redirection to a "safer" topic. Let's challenge these norms and open up conversation on how to effectively navigate these redirections.

 

Let's start off by getting to know the Designing in Color creators.

 

Christopher Locke

 

Why are you involved in the Designing in Color Platform?

 

Christopher: "Architecture has an embarrassingly low percentage of minority architects, and an even lower mark of black architects. Not only is this unacceptable, but it is a product of a capitalistic structured industry that has been governed by white males for centuries. As a designer I strive for social consciousness in my work, currently this is not being produced enough in the discipline of architecture. Schools have failed to pioneer the effort which continues to perpetuate issues of prejudice and racism in the field. My career endeavors not only seek to bring about justice by means of practicing content provoking work but also building a discourse that can be shared through the nation that increases the impact minority architects of all identities have in the built environment. The work is not demoted to the banal context and precedents, it instead looks to achieve a high level of interdisciplinary exchanges that create significant depth and collaboration with highly motivated individuals."

 

What inspires you the most about living?

 

Christopher: "Expression of self and those around you is a fundamental freedom everyone should be able to exercise. Now some do this negatively while others do not have this opportunity, however, for those who do this within good faith, the joy this could bring to a place is extraordinary. That is why I think travelling is a must for those who have the means to. The world is a incredibly cultured place where people practice behaviors of all kinds. This is literally inscribed into the earth through monuments, cities, buildings, food, festivals, and even destruction. We as a race of humans do not experience each other in close enough quarters to respect each other. Travel, see the world and share your experiences meeting the unique people of our planet. It can change your life."

 

What is your spirit animal? Why?

 

Christopher: "The Harpy Eagle is a dope bird. DOPE AS F**K. Not only is it a beautiful creature, it is also a very powerful bird that is unique to its environments. As cheesy as it may sound, people of color in many ways represent the impact we can have in architecture as this bird does in its habitat. The Harpy Eagle is strong, and like all large birds they soar high."

 

If there was one aspect of 90's culture you could bring back, what would it be? Why?

 

Christopher: "Legit house parties. I have only experienced those of the 2000s but I wouldn't mind rolling up to a house and busting out some moves to shut someone down. LOL. No guns needed. This might be more of a fantasy from the actual movie "House Party", but if I could get away with rocking some ridiculous hair too, then give me a time machine, a juice box of tang, a Reasonable Doubt record and I'm out! Flavor Flav!"

 

Opalia Meade

 

Why are you involved in the Designing in Color Platform?

 

Opalia: "Visibility is everything in inspiring the next generation. There is so much creativity in this world, yet only one side is being broadcasted and taught. How do you go about getting what you want? Design it."  

What inspires you the most about living?

 

Opalia: "Peace, love, happiness, and growth."

 

What is your spirit animal? Why?

Opalia: "Lion, because one we have the same type of hair and two, lions are defenders, protecting what's theirs."

 

If there was one aspect of 90's culture you could bring back, what would it be? Why?

 

Opalia: "The music, it was a time where love and unity were celebrated."

 

Ramon Hernandez

 

Why are you involved in the Designing in Color Platform?

 

Ramon: "To question the forces that shape our environment and challenge design to transform underserved communities. Too much of the architectural inspiration and talent is left behind in the studio. The aim of Designing in color is too remind ourselves, and the global community at large, that our built environment can have a political and cultural impact !"

 

What inspires you the most about living?

 

Ramon: "Enjoying moments where we can make small differences in other people's lives. The things I find most striking in life are the small ruptures in my daily routine. Its those moments that remind me that we all have a purpose and that we all have the opportunity and gift to communicate and work together."

 

What is your spirit animal? Why?

 

Ramon: "Night Owl, because they are always alert, wise and a night guard."

 

If there was one aspect of 90's culture you could bring back, what would it be? Why?

 

Ramon: "Hip Hop of course."

 

Rubin Quarcoopome

 

Why are you involved in the Designing in Color Platform?

 

Rubin: "I want to see more of my people on the cover of magazines and lauded as geniuses in the field of design."

 

What inspires you the most about living?

 

Rubin: "The endless possibility of unexpected beauty."

 

What is your spirit animal? Why?

 

Rubin: "A turtle, because it always has its hood on its back."

 

If there was one aspect of 90's culture you could bring back, what would it be? Why?

 

Rubin: "The clothing style. People simply didn't care how ridiculous they looked as long as they felt comfortable."

 

Margo Jones

 

Why are you involved in the Designing in Color Platform?

 

Margo: "I'm involved with Designing in Color because diversity within design is a practice. I'm tired of talking about diversity as theory and am ready to implement strategies to increase visibility within the discipline. Representation matters."

 

What inspires you the most about living?

 

Margo: "Music gives me the most life. The professionals are great, hands down. But I'm also prone to making up songs, changing lyrics to existing songs, and giving the best damn car concerts my back seat has ever seen."

 

What is your spirit animal? Why?

 

Margo: "I was told a good friend that my spirit animal is a duck. Is it because I'm a little awkward? No, "You seem so calm...You kinda glide through shit, but niggas never see how hard your feet are kicking to stay afloat." I liked that."

 

If there was one aspect of 90's culture you could bring back, what would it be? Why?

 

Margo: "Tire swings and slap bracelets. These things teetered on the edge of being "unsafe," but we kids were allowed to love them anyways."

 

 

 

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