We are hurting, we are angry, we are at a loss for words, attempting to process the murder of a black man at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve. George Floyd’s death is the tip of the iceberg of a long list of black men and women who lost their lives because of discrimination. We at Interactive Design Architects stand with the protesters who march against systemic racism towards people of color and to demand change that will lead to a just system for all. However, the road-map to “change” is what we struggle to define.

Where do we begin? Will it be enough? As architects and designers that help shape neighborhoods, places and spaces, we have opportunities to help make a difference. It’s hard to imagine that the COVID-19 pandemic would hit with such ferocity, resulting in a high mortality rate world-wide. However, the design community immediately responded as we re-imagine places and spaces, changing the way we work, play and live. This same passion and energy can be used to effect change, highlighting inequities, where we see them, to make a difference. This will take a collective action of information, engagement, education, and mobilization. The virus has fully revealed the scourge of systemic discrimination and its devastating impact on black and brown communities, revealing the lack of access to health care, economic and social disparities. Together we can harness the “power of design” and begin on the path to change.

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