Last week, Sasaki and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) hosted “Design for Equity and Inclusion,” a panel discussion centered on issues of diversity and equity within the design industry. The event took place in the Incubator at Sasaki, a research studio and shared work space for cross-industry collaboration—which celebrated its grand opening in April.
In line with the LAF’s New Landscape Declaration, the goal of the event was “to advance the conversation by building the business case for diversity, illustrating how a focus on equity and inclusion results in more robust spaces.”
“Our founder’s legacy is rooted in the belief that diversity is a driver of creativity and innovation,” Michael Grove, principal and landscape architect at Sasaki and LAF board member, said in his opening remarks. He further encouraged design professionals to play a more active voice in shaping the dialogue of inclusion in the industry.
Diana Fernandez moderated the panel. “In the same way that we take responsibility for ecological and sustainable approaches to design, we have to do the same with these issues of equity and inclusion,” said Fernandez. Fernandez, a landscape designer at Sasaki, previously presented on the topic of diversity at the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo.
The panelists included:
Barbara Deutsch; CEO, The Landscape Architecture Foundation
Beka Sturges; Principal, Reed Hilderbrand
Gina Ford; Co-Founder and Principal, Agency Landscape + Planning
Kaki Martin; Klopfer Martin Design Group
Kimberly Driggins; Director of Strategic Planning, City of Detroit
Shauna Gillies-Smith; Founding Principal, Ground
Over 100 guests attended, and the event was live-streamed. Scroll down for photos, and watch the full discussion here.