A statement from the studio at di Domenico+ Partners

The events of the past few weeks call for a statement to address the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. It is a time to reflect on our studio values and our responsibility as individuals to confront racism. It is time to express our outrage at the systemic discrimination that exists in our society and how we as citizens and individuals in a design studio can work in our communities and professional lives to bring change.

Since the studio was established 38 years ago one of the core values that influenced and informed our work is the collaboration of studio members with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and from different places. From the neighborhoods around us to the dozens of countries around the globe from which our studio members come, each brings their cultural overlay that colors our office identity and the work we produce. It is this respect for diversity that makes the systemic discrimination and violence against Black Americans and all people of color in our society all the more reprehensible.

So what can we do in response to this? How can we speak out and effectuate change?

As individuals in the world of design, our influence is in the public realm. That’s significant.

We create environments for transportation, spaces of social gathering for hospitality, and places to educate children and adults. Indeed, we hold considerable influence within the realm of our clients and the profession. We all need to do more to dismantle institutionalized racism and build community. We can do that when we engage our clients in design and discussions, mentor students, and participate in professional and community programs that call attention to inequity and inequality.

Our profession has historically been silent on these issues and it has contributed to the underrepresentation of people of color throughout the profession; as students, faculty, and colleagues. Through our collective efforts to mentor, and become active with community service groups, and other community-building activities we can bring a vision of respect that can dismantle the historic images of hate, discord, and disenfranchisement.

In our words and our actions, each of us must purge the legacy of bias, prejudice, and racism. As a studio, we will always promote inclusion, respect, and opportunity for all individuals. We will continue to add our voices and action when we witness behavior that is contrary to the value of embracing the diversity that has been at the core of our studio purpose for almost four decades. We are dedicated to building and there is no more important time to build a better future than now. We must do it together.