Lately some folks at the studio have been giving a lot of thought to equity. Specifically, we’re thinking about equity in the design world and how it’s put into practice. A big question that we’re thinking about is What would equity look like in… Construction? Housing? Community Planning? Regional Planning? Environmental Restoration?
These conversations have helped me realize the value of the outcomes that the GCCDS strives for. It’s nice to work in an environment where, in some ways, I can take equity for granted. (We need to design a pedestrian bridge? Well, of course it’s going to be accessible.) But I’m beginning to realize that might not be the case in all firms. How often do designers complete projects without considering how their designs might affect the neighbors or the community? How often do they miss opportunities to provide public space or to work for under-served populations?
Now, I’m not saying we at the GCCDS design all of our projects to perfection — part of the reason there’s been so much discussion about equity is because we’re looking for opportunities to improve the quality of our work. What I am saying is that the GCCDS has staff here who genuinely care about quality and equity in our design work, and that in turn creates a great atmosphere in which to develop one’s professional skills. The research and thinking that we’ve been doing about equity issues has also taught me that we’re not alone. There are many professionals out there who are working towards a more equal society. And I must say, I’m happy to be a part of the effort.