Design Conversations: Benjamin Earl Evans: Inclusivity through Design Thinking

Lecture | April 17 | 12-1 p.m. | 310 Jacobs Hall

 Benjamin Earl Evans, The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

 Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

Inclusion, accessibility, and justice are unavoidable terms in debates on design and technology today. It has become clear that fostering belonging requires overcoming design’s perceived innocence — admitting historical and contemporary cases where design accidentally or purposefully excludes — to formulate more deliberate positions on designers’ role in shaping collective life. More than an effort to incorporate neglected populations within existing paradigms, today’s leaders work to reinvent design and technology to promote alternative methodologies, knowledges, and ways of life. From racist bots to #metoo, the urgency of this reinvention has only become more apparent.

This Spring, the Jacobs Institute will continue investigating these ideas through our Design Conversations series, "For Whom? By Whom? Designs for Belonging," which invites three leading design thinkers to outline design’s blind spots and exclusions, and share their thoughts on possibilities for a future of belonging.

Benjamin Earl Evans is an inclusive design lead: a new generation of problem solvers tackling issues like racism, sexism, and bias. He uses Design Thinking to help everyone, from creative professionals to business leaders, create more inclusive products and services.

Evans leads Airbnb's anti-discrimination team as the Inclusive Design Lead, using design to address bias and discrimination. His teams make sure guests and hosts have equal access to all that Airbnb has to offer, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.

He is also the founder of offset, a group of creative professionals that provide ideas, resources, and tools that help encourage diversity in design.

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 laurenardis@berkeley.edu