10:50 - 12:30
Session: S04
[Artistic Thinking] + Design
Envisioning Art and Design Education Through the Lens of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Higher Education; Design; Design-Education; Decolonization; Design-Thinking
Amrita DATTA, Aaron GANCI

As the U.S witnesses the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, communities nationwide are embracing the historical inequities spanning race, gender, religion and disability benefits. Higher education is equally rife with these inequities. Widespread implementation of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) can be a catalyst for peace, acceptance and equality. Despite the requirement for educators to provide aptitude on DEI e!orts in order to adhere to growing student needs, resources allocated for such endeavors remain low. Of course, this further increases the barriers for faculty tasked with familiarizing themselves with a wide range of DEI ‘topics’. Articulation and commitment to DEI remains a challenge for educators. This is especially true in design education and the People-Centered Design process is perfectly poised to address these underlying issues. Implementing a people-centered design approach that puts the needs of people first can be the change in our education system that addresses complex social inequalities. Design educators can lead this social paradigm shift within academia. However, before educators can make a commitment to diversity they must first engage in foundational learning of DEI terms and definitions. This case study, conducted at Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design provides a novel strategy for how this can be accomplished. Since educators have systematically transitioned into the digital world -- the outcome of this case study proposes a prototype which characterizes the need of identifying DEI strategies through a digital experience.