February 01, 2022

The Black Experience
     in Design

is Past,
Present, and Future


The Book

There has never been a time when Black designers were not shaping, creating, packaging, distributing, and celebrating through, with, and by design. Black designers from across the diaspora have been integral to the development of our professions and practices, contributing to the design of typography and posters, chairs and wearables, modes of transport and methods of care, financial services and speculative futures.

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression & Reflection presents the work of six editors and over 70 designers, artists, curators, educators, students, and researchers who represent a wide cross-section of Black diasporic identities and multi-disciplinary practices. Forewords by Emory Douglas and Ruha Benjamin frame the book in an historical and socio-political context, and an Afterword by Eddie Opara offers an intimate, spiritual coda.

An Anthology of Diasporic Experiences

This book represents our collective effort to capture the current moment of cultural reflection, as well as to consider the futures we are creating together.

Our writers spotlight teaching practices, offer critiques of design methods, and shed light on Black interventions in speculative futuring, sustainable design methods, healing practices, activisms, and designing for Black Joy. They write about multi-community design, biophilia as a Black reparative practice, the history of African fractals, and the intersections of race, gender, ability, and sexuality as it informs their teaching, scholarship and professional work.

Resources, Conference List + Glossary
For readers who would like to experience this book as an educational resource, on our Resources page we offer a number of additional references: audio material, book titles, and talks that expand on the ideas offered by this anthology. Also included on our site is a compiled list of conferences and events on our Conference List page along with our Glossary. While this is not an exhaustive list, it does attempt to build upon the topics, themes, experiences, lessons, criticisms, and provocations shared in this book. 

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There has always been the essential presence and expression of both art and design in the African and African American cultural aesthetic. Now, that there is, finally, a critical mass of Black designers, practicing at the highest levels of the profession, it is all the more fitting to make space for ourselves and for those who will follow us. The Black Experience in Design is a celebration of all that we have accomplished.

~David Rice, Founder and Chairman,
   The Organization of Black Designers

Thank you
to our many Kickstarter supporters!



Andrew C. Bly
Meaghan A. Dee
Randolph Duke II
Laura Forlano
Sabrina H.
Sarah Edmands Martin
Arianne Miller
André M. Pennycooke
Caterina Rizzoni
Alvin Schexnider
Shawn Sprockett
Rob Stenson
Johnathon Strube
Stimpunks Foundation
Devin Trier
Michele Y. Washington


Anne H. Berry (Managing Editor)
Kelly Walters (Creative Director)
Jennifer Rittner (Development Editor)
Lesley-Ann Noel
Penina Laker
Kareem Collie

With book design by Renald Louissaint and
copyediting by Jamie McGhee.


Cey Adams , Alicia Olushola Ajayi, Malene Barnett, Ruha Benjamin, Audrey G. Bennett, Brian Bishop, Nii Kommey Botchway, Lonny Avi Brooks, adrienne maree brown, Terrayne Brown, Maurice Cherry, Rhea L. Combs, Darhil Crooks, Dantley Davis, Emory Douglas, Eden Elam, Colette Gaiter, Schessa Garbutt, June Grant, Vann Graves, Rick Griffith, Annika Hansteen-Izora, Sylvia Harris, Dorothy Hayes, Steven Heller, John Jennings, Steve Jones, Amos Kennedy, Jon Key, Yocasta Lachapelle, Sloan Leo, Kgothatso Lephoko, Sabine Maxine Lopez, renald Louissaint, Asha McClendon, Ari Melenciano, Quinlin B. Messenger, Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, Cheryl D. Miller, Janel Rose Mitchell, Terrence Moline, Romi Morrison, Terresa Moses, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Staicy Wairimu Ngongu, Mimi Ọnụọha, Eddie Opara, Jecori Owens-Shuler, Adah Parris, Unique Patton, David Pilgrim, Ajay Revels, Aisha Richards, Chris Rudd, Kaleena Sales, Raja Schaar, Ian Spalter, Brandon Juan Surtain , Joshua Wall, Michele Y. Washington, Kyra Wells, Jennifer White-Johnson, Brandon Wilburn, Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Lauren Williams, Folayemi Wilson, Woodrow W. Winchester III, Maurice Woods, Forest Young

February 01, 2022