In the design world, the lack of diversity is a known problem. Unwilling to accept that the industry couldn’t change or be more welcoming to people of color, Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association Cheryl Durst launched a pipeline program, Design Your World, that targets high school students in underserved communities.
Where did Design Your World come from? It’s a personal passion of mine, as a woman of color, to introduce the joy and viability of a career in design to young people. DYW is geared to shift the makeup of the industry by introducing design to students in the BIPOC community. We just celebrated the completion of the second Chicago iteration and launched in the Miami market this past summer.
Where do you see the program going? Our existing locations will continue to host new groups of students annually as other regional programs take flight.
How else can the design community support diversity and upcoming talent? In addition to education, it’s about empathizing with how the world shifting has impacted expectations, culture and human design. It’s about creating ongoing opportunities that encourage the next generation.