How a search for a Black design community led an emerging designer to Inneract Project.

By Inneract Project

A Black woman in a dark sweater stands in front of a yellow wall.
Designer Aska Mukuti. (Photo Credit: Lara Kaur)

It’s an all-too-familiar story for Black creatives on their career journey: find your passion young, pursue it as a hobby, and then, as you grow in skill and age, see fewer and fewer folks who look like you on your trajectory, in school and the workplace.

This was Aska Mukuti’s experience as she made her way into the world of design, compounded by the fact that the Bay Area–raised designer was already used to being the “only” in her day-to-day life, too.

BAM recognizes the complex relationship between the Black and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American communities, and is taking action to create a better future in solidarity with Black people.

The IP and BAM logos in yellow and black on top of a turquoise, white, magenta, red, and orange background.
The Inneract Project (IP) and Black Aspirations Matter (BAM) logos on a red, orange, magenta, turquoise, and white background

By Inneract Project

Black Aspirations Matter (BAM) is a group started by five Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) friends and allies who were moved to action by the Black Lives Matter movement in support of the aspirations of Black students. BAM recognizes the complex relationship between the Black and APIDA communities, and is taking action to create a better future in solidarity with Black people. Recently, BAM established a scholarship…

A Pacific Islander design expert reflects on her experiences in the field and shares advice for her fellow underrepresented designers of color.

By Pou Dimitrijevich

Pou Dimitrijevich

The best piece of advice I can give to early career Black and Brown designers in tech is to invest in your community. Foster relationships with individuals, and/or organizations that you identify with outside of tech. During the course of your career, you will dedicate a lot of your time to your craft. This will include navigating in-office relationships, and building a professional network; trying to carve a space for yourself in an industry that…

2019 was a BIG year — one filled with new promise, challenges, self reflection, re-focus and celebration. I continue to be inspired by my team, our partners, contractors, volunteers, supporters, advisors, board and junior board members. It truly takes an army to exact change and we have accomplished so much together.

When I started IP in 2004, I never could have imagined we would be where we are now. Just last year, we started a new design-centric public event series called Design Hour in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, a design studio program for our advanced students, a back…

This past Saturday, we started the morning with a quick review of Digital Design. As students were coming in to class and getting settled, we asked them to sketch out various digital design examples that they thought were helpful to people. Once everyone was seated, some students shared out their examples and mentioned why they were helpful to people.

To get everyone’s energy up, we did an improv-inspired ice breaker activity called “I’m a Tree.” We started by forming a circle. The improv began when the first player goes to the middle, strikes a pose, and says who or what…

4 weeks in! How the time has flied, students have gotten more comfortable with one another as well as in the classroom. We began our day with an activity that students loved. We played sculpture charades! The activity wasn’t only fun but set students up for our class theme on spatial design.

Into the third week, our class and students have found their rhythm. Throughout the class we experienced students begin to interact more with one another.

Seeing some groggy eyes and yawns, we decided to start the day by getting the students up and moving outside. Students chose color chips and were asked to match their chip to colors outside. We followed students as they looked for their specific shade. Students made sure to notice if it was too light or too dark.

Intro to Digital Design

After getting their blood moving a bit, we were back in class to learn…

This week, YDA 1 was all about digital design — Any design absorbed or engaged with through a digital interface, such as a screen, computer, or appliance.

The day started off with a free form drawing and writing exercise to get the creativity flowing. Students drew a big circle on a sheet of paper and filled it in with doodles about how they were feeling.

Continuing to exercise the sketching skills we have been working on each week, the class split into teams and played a game of pictionary as an icebreaker.

After the icebreaker we recapped what we had…

This past Saturday, the morning began with a quick exercise introducing the students to an example of communication design. As we waited for folks to enter the class, students created their own logos that represented themselves.

Once everyone settled in, we played a fun icebreaker to learn everyone’s names, called Animal Names. Each student chose an animal that started with the first letter of their name and combine it with their first name (ex: Ana the Ant). A person would start off holding a stuffed animal, say their animal name, then toss it to the next person. They would then…

Last week students came to class with their parents, now this week was their first class on their own. We watched as students slowly opened up and became more interested design.

It was a beautiful day out so before starting class, we played Question Ball outside! Students tossed the ball around and answered questions to get to know each other.

Inneract Project

We are an alliance of designers/pratictioners engaged in bringing design to underserved youth and communities across the country and beyond

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