Chicago, Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Download images

Interior Design and IIDA are pleased to announce DesignUnity, a partnership championing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in design.

DesignUnity will launch on December 4, 2020, with virtual programming dedicated to fostering open dialogue about the role of design in addressing social justice issues and the lack of diversity and representation within the field of interior design, architecture, and the design industry at large.

“In a profession that is predicated on maximizing and expanding the human experience, it is imperative that as an industry we fully recognize that equity, justice, humanity, and dignity are fundamental and indispensable to the practice of design,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “I’m looking forward to partnering with Cindy Allen and the Interior Design community to help facilitate these important conversations and drive change through the DesignUnity initiative.”

The inaugural DesignUnity virtual event will include a panel discussion with industry leaders on diversity, advocacy, equity, and human resources, and DesignTV by SANDOW syndicated programming. The series and conversation will continue with events in 2021.

Place+Power: The Intersection of Design and Equity panel will consider the current challenges to building and sustaining diversity within the design community and also addressing the role design plays in creating and reflecting equity that considers key issues such as urban planning, land allocation, and design access. Cheryl S. Durst and Cindy Allen will be joined by George Bandy Jr. (Consultant); Gabrielle Bullock, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA (Perkins and Will, Los Angeles); Karen Compton (A3kconsulting); Gisue Hariri (Hariri and Hariri Architecture); Dina Griffin, IIDA, FAIA, NOMA (Interactive Design Architects); Mike Johnson, IIDA, AIA (Perkins and Will, Washington DC); Krystal Lucero, IIDA (Edwards+Mulhausen); Carlos Martinez, FIIDA, AIA (Gensler); and Mavis Wiggins, Assoc. IIDA (TPG Architecture).

“Cheryl and I have been eager to develop an Interior Design and IIDA partnership bringing meaningful content and programming to the A+D community,” said Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen. “We believe launching the DesignUnity series is the responsible first step in creating real and lasting change for a more inclusive, diverse, and optimistic future.”

The series will acknowledge the disparities in the design industry and contemplate how we can work together to close the gaps as well as shed light on where and how to find key talent from a more diverse candidate pool. Speakers will share their experiences and address mental health and wellbeing. The design community can tune-in at or

In conjunction with DesignUnity, IIDA is developing the Talent Collective, an active network of diverse design professionals to promote equity and inclusion and facilitate opportunities and professional development. The Talent Collective will showcase people of color in the design industry and be a place to build connections and celebrate their achievements. Interior Design is the proud media sponsor of this initiative and will support the Talent Collective by driving awareness to its audience of design professionals.


About IIDA

IIDA is the commercial interior design association with global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well-being of people’s lives every day. IIDA is committed to the sustained, intentional, and organized dismantling of racism in all of its forms and instances.  

About Interior Design

Interior Design is the global, industry-leading design publication, website, and events company serving the interior design, architectural, and facility management audiences. For nearly 90 years, Interior Design magazine–published by SANDOW, a leader in multichannel brands that meet at the intersection of luxury and design–has been the essential design authority for every professional, on all projects, throughout the design process. Interior Design Events connects the industry, promoting creative leadership, innovation, and collaboration across a wide range of practice areas and platforms. Interior Design’s digital companion,, is the go-to site for relevant and real-time content for the industry’s largest and most engaged design audience.

Ciara Merouan
IIDA / Jo Chicago Communications
[email protected]

Laura Steele
[email protected]

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