Tag Archives: AIGA

Amélie Lamont: “I’m leaving AIGA behind. You should, too.”

 

This past May, the AIGA New York board met via Zoom to discuss potential board members recommended through our Call for Nominations.

“How do you get through the rest of the nomination application if their portfolio is bad?” one board member quipped as we discussed the merits of candidates.

“Yeah and also, how do we know if someone is cool?” another added. I was speechless. In a previous meeting, we’d agreed that bringing on non-designers and non-visual creatives was of a high priority. Why would a person’s “coolness” and portfolio (or lack of one) be a factor for inviting them to a team of community volunteers?

“I didn’t join the board to be best friends with people or to discuss the finer points of their craft. I joined to serve the broader design community and I hope that’s why we’re all here,” I countered, finally finding my words.

As a Black designer, I’m no stranger to my work quality being questioned. But it’s especially jarring to exist as a Black person who can see what’s going on behind closed doors. Unfortunately, my experience is not unique and this is especially true when surveying the shared experience of Black designers who have left “America’s professional organization for design” known as AIGA. During my tenure within AIGA, I’ve come to realize that it’s impossible to create sufficient change inside an organization that actively perpetuates racism towards people who look like me. It’s time for me to walk away, but before I do, I want to share what I’ve learned about AIGA’s history and pattern of not supporting Black designers.

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Designing for and Teaching Accessibility

To raise awareness and provide specific examples of ways to incorporate principles of accessibility into professional practice and design education, Design Incubation and AIGA/New York is inviting a group of scholars, practitioners and industry leaders to discuss accessible digital design and its relevance to the New York design community.

A morning panel discussion will provide a venue for experts to share their knowledge and an optional afternoon workshop will promote understanding of basic accessibility issues, concepts and best practices.

At a minimum, criteria for success of a designed product, service or experience should be its usability by everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Since digital access is a Civil Right covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the question of usability and access are now as important to digital and interactive designers as to those who produce products and physical artifacts.

“Inclusive design” theory and practice are becoming the norm with companies increasingly expecting employees to know the common standards and specifications for accessible interfaces which are used by people with disabilities (and meet legally mandated ADA compliance standards). Unfortunately, even as progress has been made in industry, teaching digital accessibility is rarely part of design curriculum or undergraduate course work.

For more information, see http://aigany.org/event/designing-teaching-accessibility/

All are welcome, but this workshop will be most useful for designers and educators who are less familiar with best practices around accessible design and want to learn more about how to practice and/or teach inclusive digital access and interactive design/graphic design/visual communications.

Saturday, 14 April 2018
10:00-4:00 pm
General Assembly, New York City

9:45AM-10:00AM Attendee check-in

10:00AM-12:00PM Panel Discussion
Bo Campbell is an Interaction Designer and Accessibility Design Lead at IBM.

Elizabeth Guffey teaches art and design history at SUNY Purchase. She is author of several books, including Designing Disability: Symbols, Spaces and Society

Liz Jackson is the founder of the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective, a disability design organization that is focused on increasing the impact of beautiful, functional products in our everyday lives and in the global economy.

Neil Ward is currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Drake University.

1:00PM-4:00PM Workshop (limited space)
Integrating Accessibility Workshop:
Inclusive Design Methodologies and Practice
Bo Campbell, Accessibility Design Lead for IBM, will conduct a workshop on accessible design while focusing on disability as a design challenge.