Lunch & Learn on July 29: Black Lives Matter in Reframing Inclusive Design

Submitted by anoopa on Fri, 07/24/2020 - 19:00

The fact of extreme inequity and racism in America is no longer possible to ignore. The pandemic ripped away the truth of systemic racism in leaving Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPoC) more vulnerable to the virus and more likely to die. It also ripped away the fog of distraction that allowed us to look the other way in the face of shocking long-term structural racism. Inclusive (Universal) Design is a vision of design for social equity. It focuses on anticipating who's left out and demands a participatory process in order to get solutions right. The panel will share their sense of urgency and ideas that can help pull us forward. 

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, July 29

Time: 12 to 2 pm ET

Location: Online Event. RSVP for Zoom details.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at

Closed captioning will be provided.


Ricardo Gomes

Professor Ricardo Gomes has been a faculty member in the School of Design at San Francisco State University for over 29 years. He was the Chair of the DAI Department from 2002-2012. Prof. Gomes coordinates the Design Center for Global Needs and the Shapira Design Archive Project in the School of Design (DES). This non-profit international research and development center is dedicated to promoting responsive design solutions to local, regional and global issues such as: inclusive/universal design, health care, the aging, community development, social innovation and sustainability of the built environment.

Prof. Gomes is on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston. He is also a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America; and Epsilon Pi Tau International Honor Society for Technology.

Prof. Gomes received his MFA in Industrial Design for Low-Income Economies from the University of California, Los Angeles (Design of a Container System for Mobile Health Care Delivery in East Africa). He received an M.A. in Architectural Building Technology from School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA (Analysis of Alternative Building Materials and Construction Systems for Small-scale Industries in the Cape Verde Islands, West Africa); and a BFA in Industrial Design from Massachusetts College of Art (Design of an Adaptive Structural Environment for Severely Disabled and Developmentally Challenged Children) .

Prof. Gomes was a Fulbright Research Scholar from 1984-1986 at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He conducted post-graduate research and product development of a container system for mobile health care delivery in East Africa from 1982 – 1987. In 1986, he was Program Coordinator of Design Projects in Developing Countries, Les Ateliers, Ecole nationale supérieure de création industrielle (ENSCI) in Paris, France where he directed student liaison projects with European international development agencies.

For over 30 years, Prof. Gomes has conducted keynote speeches, presentations, symposiums and workshops at universities and international conferences throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S.  In addition, he has served on juries related to Inclusive Design; Universal Design; Design for Social Responsibility; Global Design and Cultural Identity. 

Nikeisha Nelson

Nikeisha Nelson is currently a Senior Visual Designer at frog. As a designer, she thrives to stay inquisitive, while challenging herself to form new perspectives and develop human-led solutions. Her background in art direction, product, visual, and branding design, along with her interests in psychology and anthropology, afford her unique insight when approaching challenges. She has worked with clients in industries such as health and wellness, music and entertainment, fashion, non-profit, and sports. 

Prior to frog, Nikeisha was a Senior Graphic Designer working with Nike Inc. In addition, she has exhibited work at Dubai Design Week, New York & London Fashion Week, and performed guest lectures for Hofstra University’s design program. She holds a bachelors in graphic design from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and a masters degree from design products & futures at the Royal College of Art (London, UK).

June Grant 

June A. Grant, RA, NOMA, is Founder and Design Principal at blink!LAB architecture; a boutique research-based architecture and urban design practice. Launched in 2014, Blink!LAB brings 20 years experience in architecture, design and urban regeneration of cities and communities. Ms. Grant’s approach rests on an avid belief in cultural empathy, data research and new technologies as integral to design futures and design solutions. blink!LAB has three mandates - A commitment to Design Exploration, Advocacy for Holistic Solutions and the Integration of Technology as a central component for a regenerative society.

blink!LAB has three mandates - A commitment to Design Exploration, Advocacy for Holistic Solutions and the Integration of Technology as a central component for a regenerative society.

Because we are designers committed to new forms of knowledge through making, we prefer to situate ourselves in the middle of catalytic design- where new challenges and emerging opportunities are addressed through multi-layered thinking and design.  Open and collaborative, Blink!LAB is a small multi-disciplinary design studio with projects bridging architectural form, urban economics, urban design, industrial design, furniture and digital fabrication towards the creation of regenerated communities.  

Ms. Grant is also the current President of the San Francisco Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SFNOMA); a twelve year-old organization where members include Architects, Interior Designers, Urban Planners, Landscape Architects, Policy Advocates and Activists implementing the SFNOMA mission: Design to Empower, Educate and foster Economic growth in under-served communities.

Nigel Jacob

Nigel Jacob is the Co-founder of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, a civic innovation incubator and R&D Lab within Boston’s City Hall. Nigel’s work is about making urban life better via innovative, people-oriented applications of technology and design. Prior to joining the City of Boston in 2006, Nigel worked in a series of technology start-ups in the Boston area. 

He was also previously the Urban Technologist in Residence at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, is currently a board member at organizations such as Code For America and coUrbanize, and is an Executive-in-Residence at Boston University.

Nigel’s work has been written about extensively in magazines such as Wired, MIT Technology Review, Fast Company and books including The Responsive City, by Stephen Goldsmith and Susan Crawford and Smart Cities by Anthony Townsend.

This ground-breaking work has earned Nigel a number of awards including being named a Public Official of the year in 2011 by Governing Magazine, a Whitehouse Champion of Change and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation award for 2012.

Brad Grant 

Bradford C. Grant is a Full Professor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture of the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University, Washington DC. He has been in leadership roles at Hampton and Howard Universities as Chairperson, Director, Associate Dean and Interim Dean. As a registered architect and a distinguished educator he has extensive experience in community design, contemplative practices through drawing in design education and cultural factors in architecture. His community design work, research on the role of African American architects and his teachings on “Drawing as Meditation” has earned him the Virginia Downtown Development Association Award, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Education Honor Award, the AIA Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society’s Contemplative Practice fellowship.

Grant has served as past president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Humanities DC, and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society (Cmind). He is currently president of the board of the Healthy Building Network (HBN) and is the co-founder of the “Directory of African American Architects”, the first comprehensive survey, analysis and report on the numbers and role of the African American Architect. 

Grant completed his graduate degree at the University of California Berkeley and the undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.