Ethnic decor: celebrating cultural diversity in home design

January 23, 2024

One of the greatest aspects of design is its capacity to transcend boundaries, telling the stories of numerous cultures through color, texture, and form. IIDA, a staple in the design industry, represents the wide diversity of designers worldwide. Today, we turn our spotlight on the power of diversity in interior design, particularly through the lens of ethnic decor. Let’s explore how cultural diversity infuses richness and depth into our living spaces.

Diversity in the IIDA Community

The IIDA is not just a community of designers; it is a vibrant tapestry of people from different walks of life, each bringing their unique perspective to the table. The organization has always been committed to fostering a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. In recent times, IIDA has made significant strides to spotlight members from diverse ethnic backgrounds, notably Black designers and women.

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For example, Cheryl Durst, Hon. FIIDA, the Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA, has always been a vocal advocate for diversity. Her work in spotlighting the unique perspectives of diverse designers has been instrumental in opening up conversations about racial and gender diversity within the industry.

IIDA’s commitment to diversity also extends to its student community. Recognizing that the future of the design industry lies in the hands of the next generation, they make concerted efforts to support students from diverse backgrounds. Scholarships and mentorship programs are just a few ways IIDA invests in promoting diversity among design students.

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Ethnic Decor and Its Influence on Interior Spaces

Ethnic decor is more than just a design trend; it’s a celebration of cultural diversity. It allows us as designers to bring the richness of various cultures into the spaces we create. Think about it: A Moroccan rug here, a Balinese lantern there, or perhaps a Mexican talavera tile backsplash. These are all elements that can inject a touch of the exotic into our interior spaces, making them more unique and personal.

Plus, ethnic decor can lead to a greater appreciation for the craftsmanship and artistic traditions of other cultures. The intricate patterns on a Persian carpet or the vibrant colors of a South African Ndebele wall mural are not just aesthetically pleasing; they also tell stories of centuries-old design traditions.

The Power of Perspective

In the world of design, perspective is everything. And when we talk about diversity, it’s the myriad perspectives that make our work as designers so enriching. By incorporating elements of ethnic decor into our designs, we are not just beautifying a space; we are also giving voice to different cultures, their history, and their traditions.

When we design with diversity in mind, we are engaging in a form of visual storytelling. We are telling the story of a Moroccan artisan, a Balinese woodcarver, or a Mexican ceramist, for example. By featuring their work in our spaces, we are honoring their craft, their culture, and their unique perspective.

Advocacy through Design

While showcasing diversity through interior design is important, it should always be done respectfully and thoughtfully. Cultural appropriation – using elements of a culture without permission or understanding – is a pitfall to avoid. Instead, we should strive for cultural appreciation – acknowledging the origins of the design elements we use and giving credit where it’s due.

This is where advocacy comes in. As designers, we have a responsibility to use our platform to educate others about the cultures we represent in our work. This might mean explaining the significance of a Native American dreamcatcher or the symbolism behind a Japanese koi fish painting, for instance.

Fostering Community Through Design

At the end of the day, design is about more than just aesthetics. It’s about creating spaces that make people feel welcome, comfortable, and represented. Ethnic decor, with its global influences, has the power to make people from diverse backgrounds feel seen and celebrated.

So, as we continue to innovate and create, let’s remember to design with diversity in mind. Let’s celebrate the beauty of our global community and use our work to create more inclusive spaces. After all, a diverse design is a beautiful design.

The Role of Women in Leading Design

The role of women in the sphere of interior design has been transformative, with many women taking the lead in shaping the industry roundtable. In the IIDA community, women have not just been participants, they have been leaders. Cheryl Durst stands as an exemplar, her role as Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA is evidence of the strides women have made in this industry.

The future of work in the design industry is one where gender does not inhibit potential. The future is female, poised to take the industry to greater heights. A key tool being utilized by the IIDA community to achieve this is the mentorship program. Mentorship within the design community is instrumental in preparing young female designers for industry leadership.

To further highlight this, Durst often uses what she calls a ‘scratch pad’. This metaphorical jotting pad is where she pens down ideas, thoughts, and reflections on how women can lead design in future work. Her scratch pad serves as a repository for the collective design aspirations of women in the industry.

It is not enough for women to simply lead, they must lead in ways that celebrate cultural diversity and foster inclusivity. This is where the perspective state of the design comes in. Embracing a sustainable future in design implies incorporating elements of ethnic decor and creating spaces that tell a story.

Conclusion: The Future of Design is Diverse

Looking into the future, it is certain that diversity will continue to play a crucial role in interior design. The IIDA advocacy for cultural diversity is not just a trend. It is a movement towards a sustainable future for the industry. The perspective moving forward is one that values inclusivity and celebrates the richness of our global community.

As we strive for a sustainable future, the role of the changemakers cannot be overstated. The nov advocacy in the industry is one that encourages interior designers to serve as advocates of cultural diversity. This perspective is not just about beautifying spaces, but also about storytelling and honoring the richness of diverse cultures.

In essence, the future of design is diverse. This diversity is not just about the design industry acknowledging and incorporating different cultures into its work. It is about every individual, every designer, every craftsperson contributing their unique perspective to the collective design. It is about fostering an environment where different cultures, perspectives, and experiences are not just tolerated, but celebrated.

So, let us continue to design with diversity in mind, let us continue to celebrate the beauty of our global community, and let us continue to use our work to create more inclusive spaces. After all, a diverse design is indeed a beautiful design.