While browsing the internet a few weeks ago, I stumbled across an interesting little design blog, A Design State of Mind. It’s most outstanding feature was a post called ‘Hue of the Month’, which highlighted African American Interior Designers and Interior Design Students. I continued to read and become engulfed in my new discovery, but as I started to get carried away, it stopped! SO, after a slight melt down, a quick recovery and a bit more research, I found that this particular blogger has not only continued to give readers ‘Hue of the Month’ BUT has expanded her concept to bring us so much more…
Danielle Gray, received her Bachelors Degree in History as well as Political Science, accompanied by a Masters Degree in Urban Studies, but found herself in a bit of a dilemma. Danielle knew she no longer wanted to pursue a law degree , as originally intended, but was unsure of what her next move should be. Along a journey to rediscover who she wanted to be when she grew up, Danielle developed an interest in Interior Design; recalling a time in her childhood enjoying drawing and sketching. Interior Design has helped Danielle explore her creativity through the creation of spaces that tell a story. Miss Gray has worked her way through design school, done her fair share of internships and found her way in the industry. This year has brought new beginnings for Danielle with a new blog & the launch of her own design company Gray Living, designing reflections of her clients style, personality and culture.
But the reason I introduce Miss Danielle Gray to you today is to shine a light on her relentless efforts to bring more diversity to the field of Interior Design. In the US, of 850,000 “designers” documented in the census, 4% are African American, of all professional Interior Designers 4.8%; and 4.2% of 40,000 students that enrolled into an Interior Design program, in a span of 2 years, many of these students leaving after only one year. Granted, those figures are considerably better than those of some other design fields, but discouraging none the less.
Earlier I told you about one of Danielle’s efforts to counteract that distressing ratio and charter the awareness of African American Interior Designers with ‘Hue of the Month’, and since it’s debut in May of 2010 it has expanded into Hues In Design. Hues In Design started as a way to give African American Interior Designers and Decorators the opportunity to network and share resources. Based in Washington, DC Hues In Design is a group that meets once a month to discuss topics associated with Interior Design, such as- client & vendor relations, design associations and trade shows, just to name a few.
The spin off from her blog feature has since established a presence on Facebook, as well as Twitter. As Hues In Design continues to grow Danielle proceeds to bring awareness of Interior Design to the African American, as well as other minority communities; giving them a voice and changing the face of the Interior Design industry, associations and main stream trade publications along the way.
On the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm ET Hues In Design will be hosting a chat on Twitter #huesindesign. Join in on their next Twitter hosted chat on June 1, 2011.