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Walker, Jacinda N.Design Journeys: Strategies For Increasing Diversity In Design Disciplines
Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, 2016, Design
Design is everywhere, but for many African American and Latino youth, the journey to a design career can be overwhelming. Limited access and too few opportunities prevent the majority of these youth from even beginning the journey. Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines explores diversity in design disciplines and presents fifteen strategic ideas to expose African American and Latino youth to design-related careers. This solutions-based thesis introduces a map charting a design career from grade school to a seasoned professional. The “Design Journey Map” contains four color-coded passages that are overlapped with career competency components that simultaneously cultivate soft skills together with the hard skills youth learn along the journey to a design career. The intent of this research is to inform and empower future African American and Latino youth, their parents and other educational stakeholders, about the journey to obtain a design-related career. The objective of this study is to analyze the design journeys of current African American and Latino designers and learn what influenced their career paths. This research is important because it shows the journey to become a designer and provides principles of the solution for closing the diversity gap in the design industry.

Committee:

Paul Nni (Advisor)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

Design; Diversity; Black Designers; African American Designers; Latino Designers, Disciplines, Strategies, Art Education; Entrepreneurship; Student Run Venture

Souza, Omari AbijahChasing Vertical: Diversity & Recognition in the field of Graphic Design.
MFA, Kent State University, 2017, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
Despite the growing number of minority students entering college, those numbers are not reflected in design-related fields. A recent Georgetown study suggests that African Americans are far better represented in the social serving fields than in any other majors. Chasing Vertical- Diversity and Recognition in the field of Graphic Design utilizes design research methods to investigate what African American students prioritize when choosing a college major. The intention of this investigation is to gain a better understanding of why the design field has failed to attract African American students, and what practitioners and recruiters in the field can learn from the successes of other fields in developing diverse populations of learners. This research finds that the way social science students are inspired or motivated toward a career path can be best described in three distinct categories: enthusiastic, direct exposure, and indirect exposure. In each category, subjects prioritize the ability to create social change over a motivation to make large sums of money. Since African American students view the ability to impact their communities as a top priority when choosing a major, the field of design must consider how its tools and principles can be leveraged to effect change. Failing to do so will place design at a direct disadvantage as it attempts to attract African Americans. For this reason, it is recommended that designers use their strength to contextualize information for social issues in addition to commercial endeavors.

Committee:

Sanda Katila, MFA (Advisor); Jessica Barness, MFA (Committee Member); Larrie King, MFA (Committee Member); Ken Visocky-O'Grady, MFA (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African Americans; Design

Keywords:

Diversity, Recruitment, The Sunken Place, African American Students, Graphic Design, AIGA, Get Out, Where are all the black designers,