Welcome to the first volume of RECOGNIZE, a design anthology featuring essays and commentary from indigenous people and men and women of color—the next generation of emerging design voices.
RECOGNIZE started out with a simple premise: to showcase design writing that reflects the richness and diversity of the people who make up the design community. The internet has made it extremely easy for anyone with access to a decent computer or mobile device, a data connection, and a point of view, to broadcast their thoughts to the world. Whether it’s a quick post on Medium, a tutorial on a personal blog, or a long-form article in a well-known design magazine, we have come to expect a certain frequency and level of quality from design writing.
But somewhere along the way, that variety of voices has started to look and sound the same—same viewpoints, same conclusions, and even the same egregious blindspots. Granted, these voices don’t speak for the design community as a whole, but to many others, those voices are the design community.
It’s bizarre to think about because this field is always changing! Think of how many new typefaces, icon sets, software tools, visual styles, and other related design topics and ephemera have been introduced in just the last five years. Moreover, think about how much has transpired in the world overall in the last five years. Shouldn’t the voices of our community reflect this change as well? I think so, and that’s how RECOGNIZE was born.
This anthology is a vessel: a collection of essays and commentary about design featuring perspectives you may have never thought about from voices you may have never heard of before today. Through dozens of submissions, I’ve chosen five pieces that I hope will challenge your thinking, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and show you that the next generation of design voices is here in all its melanated, multiethnic, and multicultural splendor.
I hope you enjoy them.