Designer, Educator Kia Weatherspoon to Present 'Design Without Labels' Lecture March 14

Capitol Vista, completed in 2020, is a multi-family, affordable housing complex in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Kia Weatherspoon

Capitol Vista, completed in 2020, is a multi-family, affordable housing complex in Washington, D.C.

Kia Weatherspoon will present a lecture at 4 p.m., Monday, March 14, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, room 250 of Vol Walker Hall on the U of A campus, as part of the spring lecture series in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. The lecture will also be available to watch live via Zoom.

Weatherspoon, NCIDQ, ASID, is president of Determined by Design in Washington, D.C.

The Fay Jones School's spring lecture series is presented in collaboration with Places Journal, an internationally respected online journal of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism.

Registration for the online version of the lecture is available on Zoom.

In her lecture, "Design Without Labels," Weatherspoon will explore how everyone lives in a world of labels — corporate, hospitality, senior, millennial, black, white, affordable, high-end, etc. While these descriptors and identifiers may have been intended to support sales, marketing and other functions, they have essentially created a more polarized human experience and hindered creativity and Design Equity™. These labels prevent design professionals from thinking outside of the box and providing the best possible solutions for clients. Labels have made design seem out of reach for some people, when well-designed spaces should be a standard for all, not a luxury for a few.

In this presentation, Weatherspoon will help the audience recognize the impact of labels, demographics and data on the design process. She will share her mission of Design Equity™, challenging professionals to approach projects with a focus on community and the collective human experience. She believes that change is possible through design. By adjusting language and spearheading a more inclusive design process, architects and designers can create with empathy and develop thoughtful concepts that tell stories, connect people and unite communities.

Through this presentation, Weatherspoon will challenge firms and design professionals to support an inclusive design process in order to properly reflect the communities they serve and inspire the next generation of designers and architects.

"As designers, as people, we need to remove labels so we can do better," Weatherspoon said. "These labels disrupt entire communities. We want diversity, design equity and different outcomes, so we need to constantly challenge ourselves to do better."

As a design voice of impact and change, Weatherspoon has spent the last 15 years defying every design stereotype. The most damaging of these is that interior design is a luxury reserved for a few. Her voice, advocacy for Design Equity™ and design practice have shifted the narrative, making interior design a standard for all.

She became the design leader, educator, business owner and speaker she never saw. In doing so, she was recognized with a Design for Humanity national award from the American Society of Interior Designers and HIP Designer for Good by Interior Design magazine. She is also a recipient of the Raise Up Your Voice Award from the Commercial Real Estate Women Washington D.C. (CREW DC) and a recipient of the Luna Textile/Anna Hernandez Visionary Award from the International Interior Design Association.

She is also a full-time professor, sought-after speaker and mentor. She demonstrates what's possible when you're determined by design.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects.

This lecture is open to the public. Admission is free, with limited seating. For details on watching the lecture online, please visit the Fay Jones School's lecture page. To register for the entire online lecture series, complete this form on Zoom.

For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or fayjones.uark.edu

Contacts

Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4744, slmeyers@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu

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