On the 50th anniversary of the first Black History Month celebrations in the United States, we invited the GSD community to submit books that contribute to the conversation on race and design.
The African American Design Nexus is an initiative developed by the Frances Loeb Library in collaboration with the GSD African American Student Union. Our mission is to showcase and initiate conversation about the work of Black designers throughout the world and to critically re-examine the legacy of racial discourses in modern and contemporary design thinking and practice. Part of this mission is to curate an open-access bibliography that will lift up diverse voices and perspectives of the past and present while also inspiring a paradigm shift for the future of pedagogy and practice. In the spirit of participation and accessibility, we open up this bibliographic process to all members of the GSD community so that we might engage in more personal, sustained conversations about race and design during this month and beyond.
We welcome all students, faculty, and staff to submit suggestions for books (or other printed media) that explore the intersection of race and design. We especially seek out contributions from authors, architects, designers, and critics from the African diaspora, as well as media centering on the work of Black designers past and present. The Frances Loeb Library will expand library collections to acquire recommended literature that is not currently present in the library. Submitted items will be displayed on a rotating basis.
Through the display and the bibliography, we hope to begin to fill in narrative gaps and spark meaningful dialogue about race in the design community.
To continue the work that began with this initial call, the African American Design Nexus has paired this bibliography with The Nexus podcast. Guests on the podcast are encouraged to discuss works on the intersection of design and race that have been influential to their practice. In this way, we are dedicated to expanding this list with input from beyond the GSD community.