Designing Diversity: Black Designers & Value in Diversity

Good news! We have opened up registration to allow more people to attend.

Join AIGA Boston and WeWork for the first in a series of panel discussions exploring the need for diversity in design.

African American Culture is a powerful force driving innovation in the arts, music, fashion, etc. Diversity is widely recognized as a source of creative energy and success in business and problem solving; the very things that Design is meant to deliver, yet the Design industry continues to struggle to reflect the broader society.

Weve invited a panel of accomplished and insightful African American designers to share their thoughts on design creativity, cultural perspective and what we have to gain from broader representation in the Design Industry.

  • What are we missing when a range of perspectives go unrepresented in the design process?

  • What unique challenges must be overcome to increase African American representation in Design?

  • What can we, as individuals and as a community, do to champion diversity?

  • Whats missing from diversity and inclusion efforts?

This event is free and open to the public.

Shani Sandy, Executive Creative Director at S&P Global
Chaz Maviyane-Davies, Designer, Activist, Educator
Sabrina Dorsainvil, Civic Designer & Program Director at Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
Moderator: David Oliver, Product Design Director at Cusp Development

Speakers’ bios:

Shani Sandy's Photo

Shani Sandy is a creative leader who believes in the power of design to impact business. She is the Executive Creative Director at S&P Global where she has implemented creative strategies impacting the financial information and analytic industry globally. Noted accomplishments include integrated advertising campaigns, website experiences, multichannel global rebrands, and building creative teams from the ground up.

Shani holds an MBA from the Berlin School of Creative Leadership as well as a BA in Art History and BFA in Painting and Computer Art from Tufts University.

As an active member of the creative community, Shani has been honored by GDUSA’s People to Watch, served on HOW Design’s Judging Jury, and speaks at industry events nationally. Shani serves on the Arts Board of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts.

Chaz Maviyane-Davies' photo

Chaz Maviyane-Davies is described by the UK’s Design magazine as “the guerrilla of graphic design.” He ran the renowned design studio in Harare, Zimbabwe, The Maviyane-Project, from 1983 – 2000.

He is Professor Emeritus of Design at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston where he taught until 2016 and is currently a freelance designer. As well as being published in numerous books, international magazines and newspapers, his work has been exhibited extensively and is included in several permanent collections at various galleries around the world. In 2009 he was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

His latest book “30” is a folio of award winning posters based on the UN Declarations of Human Rights, conceptualized from an African perspective.

Sabrina Dorsainvil's photo

Sabrina Dorsainvil is fascinated by people: the way they move, speak, touch, interact and experience environments, objects and each other. She brings this lens to her work as a designer and illustrator; from playful drawings to human centered design projects.

Sabrina’s work aims to improve the everyday lives of the people around her by addressing complex issues such as housing, healthcare and human rights. She has worked with international and local community based organizations, non-profits, large institutions and startups on issues regarding social, spatial and environmental justice. Sabrina currently works for the City of Boston as a Civic Designer with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design for Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MS in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons the New School.

David Oliver's photo

David Oliver is engineering and product design leader who has worked across disciplines and industries to identify opportunity and shape product strategy, function and form. He has spent his career at the intersection of new technologies and the design that makes them useful and compelling to people. In particular, he is interested in expanding the vocabulary of mechanical design by making products fold, bend, collapse, conform & adjust in ways that improve function and human interface.

David believes that successful design begins with problem definition and developing a point of view. Our lived experiences play a role in how we see the world and face the challenges and opportunities it presents. Therein lies value beyond the skills we tend to request on job postings or list on our resumes.


This event is part of AIGA Diversity & Inclusion initiative.

The Diversity & Inclusion Initiative is meant to augment ongoing AIGA programs with new ideas and resources that take a comprehensive approach, considering race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and disability, age, and other factors that shape creative perspective and professional experience.

Encouraging diversity in design education, discourse, and practice to strengthen and expand the relevance of design in all areas of society.

Join AIGA and get discounted tickets and other benefits.

Event partner:

WeWork is a community of creators. We transform buildings into collaborative workspaces. Our mission is to help companies grow by providing them with not just beautiful space but benefits, amenities, and community they need to focus on their business, all on very flexible terms. We currently have over 100,000 Members working out of our communities worldwide, and over 5,000 members here in Boston.

Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio, and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA Boston. AIGA Boston has adopted the AIGA Code of Conduct with regard to its activities. We reserve the right to refuse admittance for violations of this Code, or other unlawful or disruptive actions. Any concerns should be addressed to the Director of Membership or Community Outreach.

Graphic by: Chiranit Prateepasen

When & Where
Thu, Mar 29, 2018 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
WeWork Mass Ave.
625 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139