Interior design is an industry that celebrates cultural differences in decoration—houses that meld furnishings from different regions and with varied influences tend to be the most compelling. Yet it’s become apparent in recent months that a disparity exists when it comes to diverse things and diverse people. We at Balineum are determined to do our part in helping to close that gap by supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) creatives. As a first step towards increasing diversity, we are spreading the word about United in Design—a new charitable organisation launched, at near warp speed, by interior designers Alexandria Dauley and Sophie Ashby.
United in Design is leading the way in generating real, tangible opportunities for BAME talent, who have historically lacked opportunity in our field, to build careers in the design industry by partnering with businesses in a variety of disciplines. From interior design studios, brands and makers to suppliers, magazines, and myriad other design professionals, partners pledge to take part in a series of actionable initiatives that include, among other things: mentoring, offering work experience and/or paid apprenticeship programs, going into schools to encourage exploration of design fields, and supporting candidates of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. If you want to help by becoming a supporting business partner, you can sign up here to get involved.
In addition to business partnerships, United in Design offers a resource hub curated by interior design career coach and former BIID International Director, Simon Hamilton that is set to become a virtual reservoir of information and advice for BAME talent looking to enter the field and businesses looking to train and recruit. Also in the works is an application section for individuals looking to become a mentee. Stay tuned to their website for more updates in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, individuals looking for help and support, or schools wanting to be better connected to professionals working in the industry, can email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will join us in actively working towards a more diverse industry so that we all may be united in design.