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Design gets more Diverse
23 August 2013 9:57 PM | No Comments
LONDON — One night at design school in London, Eddie Opara was working late with a friend, Kojo Boateng. “A friend of ours came in and was like: ‘Why are you still here?”’ he recalled. “Kojo said: ‘It’s because we’re black. We have to work harder than you.’ I don’t know if it was true, but that was how we felt.”
Twenty years later, Mr. Opara is a partner of Pentagram, the prestigious design group in New York, and Mr. Boateng is design director of ITN, the television news network in London. They have joined the elite band of successful black designers in Europe and North America, which includes Gail Anderson in graphics, Joshua Darden in typography and the furniture designer Stephen Burks.Read More
Introduction: Envisioning Blackness In American Graphic Design
23 August 2013 9:52 PM | No Comments
by Maurice Woods
Black culture has had a huge impact on the fertility and diversity of American culture. The Black struggle has evolved from the depths of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, to positions of leadership in the forefront of civic, urban and corporate America. Through mass media, Black people have introduced a unique cultural perspective that has cultivated an aesthetic in American society. As a method of communication, graphic design provides Blacks with the opportunity to improve the image of-and perhaps the self-concept of‚-the community by presenting these perspectives of African American life visually. However, within the history of graphic design to present day, the invisibility of Black designers has contributed to a virtually non-existent Black aesthetic.
I argue that there could be a design aesthetic derived from principles and ideals Blacks express in the way they live. As a Black graphic designer, I am presented with a unique opportunity to investigate a Black aesthetic within mainstream graphic design and the mass media of American popular culture. In investigating the Black aesthetic within the discipline of graphic design, I seek to answer the following questions: (1) what is the history of the Black aesthetic-how has art been used to present Black imperatives, (2) what are some of the identifiers that define the Black aesthetic, (3) are there benefits of a cultural identity for Blacks entering graphic design, and (4) is there a Black aesthetic being used by the marketing departments and advertising agencies of major corporations?
23 August 2013 9:08 PM | No Comments
SoulFul Design is proud
to present the series
Soulight On: a showcase featuring designers of color across different creative fields. My purpose is to shine light on fellow creatives that we don’t see in the mainstream design trades. My goal is for you to be inspired, be informed, be creative.
Lisa Hunt, former Creative Director of Essence magazine, launched her own design consultancy, Lisa Hunt Creative, and product line, Parasol New York, in 2009. With over a decade of experience in art directing photography in the categories of food, home, celebrity, fashion, beauty, health, fitness, and travel her work is vibrant, polished and fuses her well-honed knowledge of industry trends in publishing and branding across multiple platforms including web, tablet and mobile.
Analysing text by Sylvia Harrris
23 August 2013 9:05 PM | No Comments
Searching for a Black Aesthetic in American Graphic Design:
Sylvia Harris has drawn together evidence to add weight to her understanding of the impact of black culture behind the key figures and points of style in art and design. She is trying to focus young African or African American graphic designers to draw on their cultural influences rather than to emulate the established main stream aesthetic. She has highlighted quite poignantly the pitfalls for African cultural groups within the design industry. Her belief that by not embracing and intermingling the culture of African and African Americans within design we have lost a style aspects which would benefit the industry as a whole, and that African and African American have inadvertently done themselves a disservice as by adopting the main stream norm they feel under confident with what they have to offer.
More here:Read More
23 August 2013 9:00 PM | No Comments
In his native Trinidad/Tobago, Hollis King says music and art were a significant part of his upbringing. He enjoyed art classes at school and found that he had a talent for art. Even as a youngster, he saw that his artwork surpassed that of his classmates and brought him a certain respect from others.
King moved to Brooklyn when he was 16, and attended New York City Community College, beginning as a liberal arts major on course to become a doctor in line with cultural and family aspirations. But a friend noticed the exceptional “doodles” he drew between classes and encouraged him to rethink his career goals. King switched to the advertising and design program, and later transferred to the School of Visual Arts, where he studied with legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. Money was tight, so King worked in the shipping department of a toy factory by day and took classes at night. One of his teachers, veteran art and creative director Walter Kaprielian, recognized his talent and gave him an introduction to a job in the art world.
Read more here:Read More
- Design gets more Diverse
World Bank Archive
Posted on May 24, 2010 | No Comments
Urgent as the immediate need for shelter and housing is, Haiti’s long-term economic and social welfare depends on a comprehensive approach to planning for a more sustainable future; the rebuilding process must seek to transform the country’s built environment, not just replace it. With the help of many foreign countries, NGOs, and its own rich diaspora community, the Haitian government has developed the outlines of a post-earthquake action plan, the Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti.Using this plan and its corollary, the Post Disaster Needs Assessment as a starting point for discussion, the Institute for Urban Design is planning a major conference on June 4 focused on long-term and sustainable rebuilding in Haiti.
IfUD will convene architects, planners, public health specialists, representatives from NGOs, and government officials from both Haiti and the United States to identify specific needs, and develop an action plan to address them. The conference is designed to leverage the incredible experience of the design and planning community in the Northeast, complementing local efforts to rebuild in an innovative and just way.
Leading this important discussion is Leslie Voltaire, the planner heading the Haitian government’s Reconstruction Team and a UN Special Envoy to Haiti. He will be joined by a panelists with a wealth of experience in the worlds of development, infrastructure, land tenure, education, slum upgrading, and post-disaster planning. They include:
Ami Desai, Foreign Policy Advisor, Clinton Foundation
Patrice Nevil, Director of Infrastructure, Partners in Health
Chris Williams, Washington DC Representative, UN-HABITAT
Louis Herms Marcelin, Director, Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development Haiti (INURED)
David Evans, Chief Technical Advisor, UN-HABITAT Sri Lanka
Steven Lewis, President, National Organization of Minority Architects
Friday, June 4, 2010
Rose Auditorium, Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square
New York, New York
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
For More Details: http://www.ifud.org/haiti/
Posted on May 12, 2010 | No Comments
by Atim Annette Oton
Brazil became the first contributor to the Haitian Reconstruction Fund, managed by the World Bank. This is the first country to fulfill its promise of the $10 Billion promised to Haiti at the International Donors’ Conference.
WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – Brazil became the first contributor to a reconstruction fund for Haiti on Tuesday and World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged other donor nations to make good on their aid pledges to help the Caribbean country rebuild from a devastating earthquake in January.
Brazil, which commands a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, said it had paid $55 million into the World Bank-supervised fund. In March, international donors pledged $10 billion over a decade to help impoverished Haiti rebuild. See details here: Reuters.
The Haitian Reconstruction Fund
At the International Donors Conference, the Haitian Government reveled an Action Plan for the country.
The Fund is in part based on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) of Haiti in January that was carried out by a joint team of national and international experts, who were actively assisted by representatives of NGOs and the Haitian civil society The Haitian Reconstruction Fund is focused on macro-economic projections between now and 2015.
The Fund is chaired by the Government of Haiti and is governed through a Steering Committee that also includes contributors to the Fund (countries and institutions, including Brazil) and partner entities such as the Inter- American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank serves as the fiscal agent for the Trust Fund, transferring funds for the implementation of programs by a broad range of actors on the ground (such as government ministries, NGOs, the private sector, and UN agencies) at the request of the Fund’s Steering Committee.
The Action Plan for National Recovery and Development includes actions which are defined in time, over an eighteen month timescale. It is based on four major areas of work which should enable the practical rebuilding of Haiti. The sectoral actions and initiatives are brought together according to the themes of regional, economic, social and institutional reconstruction. The fund will help Haiti achieve some of it specific action plans for each field are organised in the following way:
- Territorial rebuilding: Reconstruction of the devastated zones and urban renovation, the road network, regional development hubs and urban renovation, preparation for the hurricaneseason and regional planning and local development.
- Economic rebuilding: Relaunch of national production, restoration of economic and financial circuits, access to electricity.
- Social rebuilding: Health, food safety, nutrition, water, sanitation, highly labour-intensive activities.
- Institutional rebuilding: Democratic institutions, restart of public administration, justice and security. See More details here
Posted on May 11, 2010 | No Comments
by Atim Annette Oton
On a sunny slightly chilly day in Brooklyn, at Borough Hall, the New York U.S. Export Assistance Center, in partnership with the Brooklyn International Trade Development Center, hosted a seminar for companies interested in learning about accessing the medium to long-term reconstruction opportunities in Haiti. The seminar gave attendees:
- An understanding of Haiti’s on-the-ground realities from a business perspective;
- Insights into the process for bidding on procurement opportunities with the U.S. government and international development banks
- Information on investment financing and political risk insurance;
- Resources for infrastructure-related feasibility studies and technical assistance
- Important contacts for accessing future opportunities; and
- Real world experiences of companies who currently do business in Haiti.
The eye-opener and key to this seminar was the Procurement processes and bidding on contracts with not only the U.S. government, but most importantly, the multilateral organizations – U.N., Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. These three organizations hold the key to accessing work in Haiti that most small businesses – architects, in particular are not leveraging.
So, if you are interested in work in Haiti, you must register with the UN, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank
- UN: http://www.ungm.org - the UN Global Markplace website.
- IADB – http://www.iadb.org
- World Bank - http://www.worldbank.org
Additionally, it is vital for businesses to read the Action Plan put together from the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti. The Plan can be downloaded here. This plan states the vision:
“ The Haitian Head of State defined the country’s long-term vision for development in the following terms:We will rebuild Haiti by turning the disaster on 12 January 2010 into an opportunity to make it an emerging country by 2030.This restructuring will be marked by:
A fair, just, united and friendly society living in harmony with its environment and culture; a modern society characterised by the rule of law, freedom of association and expression and land management.
A society with a modern, diversified, strong, dynamic, competitive, open and inclusive economy based on the land.
A society in which people’s basic needs are met quantitatively and qualitatively.
A knowledge-based society with universal access to basic education, mastery of qualifications based on a relevant professional training system, and the capacity for scientific and technical innovation fed by a modern and efficient university system, in order to create the new type of citizen the country needs for reconstruction.
All of this, under the supervision of a responsible, unitary state guaranteeing the implementation of laws and the interests of the people with a strong commitment to de-concentration and decentralization.”
The key to the reconstruction plan are the 3 stages vital to the process:
- The emergency period, which must be used to improve accommodation for the homeless; to return pupils to school and students to university and vocational training centres; to prepare for the next hurricane season in the summer; to pursue efforts to restore a sense of normality to economic life, especially by creating large numbers of jobs through high-intensity work, by guaranteeing stability in the financial sector and access to credit for SMEs; and to continue to reorganise state structures. During this period, it will be necessary to work on development strategies and plans for selected new economic centres; to pursue action in favour of equipping reception zones for those who have been displaced by the earthquake; and to set up an electoral process to avoid constitutional gaps.
- The implementation period (18 months), for projects to kick-start the future of Haiti and establish a framework of incentives and supervision for private investment on which Haiti’s economic growth will be founded. As foreseen by various analyses and assessments, private investment in the economy as well as in the social sector will form the backbone of the country’s reconstruction. Among the commitments of donors, support will be given to the private sector to provide it with the capacity required to fulfil this role.
- The period (10 years) during which the reconstruction and recovery of Haiti will become a reality, in order to put the country back on the road to development, followed by another ten years to make it a real emerging country.
The plan also details what the role of the Haitian Reconstruction Fund and indicates ways to find resources for projects in Haiti.
Atim Annette Oton , co-Founder of BDNN will continue to work on reports on Haiti.