Reframing Inclusive Design for the BIPoC Communities

By Ricardo Gomes, San Francisco State University

In order to begin to dismantle the barriers of systemic racism by design, industries, institutions and our respective design disciplines must make a commitment to establishing an “inclusive design” mission that will support “building and investing” in the formation of a new paradigm of access, education, leadership training and mentoring in design for the underrepresented BIPoC community.

1. Designing for the lifespan: Identifying and raising the awareness for the need to reframe inclusive design; shifting from individual autonomy to societal intersection/interdependence.

2. African-American and Latino adult populations, particularly the percentages of persons with disabilities, with compromised health conditions

3. Enhancing home/shelter-in-place equity and inclusion

4. Enhancing the quality and efficacy of institutional facilities for our most vulnerable BIPoC, low-income communities relative to elderly care facility centers, and homeless navigation centers

5. Protecting and sustaining safe public service facilities – service workers (supermarkets/consumer retail venues; food service/distribution venues/centers; public transportation; schools and university education facilities; outdoor parks and recreation areas

6. Protecting and enhancing health care service workers in acute care (COVID-19) patient care facilities (Personal Protection Equipment – “PPEs”)


1. How do we inspire design leadership that is inclusive, representative and equitable? (lead by example, equity and empowerment)

2. How do we begin to establish Inclusive design as the new normal? (the new paradigm, or platform that is more Inclusive, and proactive to the most vulnerable BIPoC, Low-income communities in our Domestic Built)

3. How might designers help create more equitable applications, services and solutions in the way we can better facilitate the built environment and infrastructure for our BIPoC community?