#DesignStandsTogether: Diversity in Design, Back to the Office Solutions, Dad’s Day Gift Ideas & More

“One of the most difficult things is not to change society — but to change yourself.” – Nelson Mandela 

From Novità Communications:

In addition to our weekly round-up of stories, we are sharing important highlights from the Diversity in Design panel led by our own Joseph Cephas (SVP, Novità). As we continue to look at how we can take long-term action and reflect on necessary changes within our own agency and the industry, we are grateful for the panelists’ powerful insights.

For our standard news roundup this week, we’ve included last minute father’s day gift ideas, return-to-work design solutions, and eco-friendly items for the home and beyond.

Don’t forget to check out our BE WELL series on IGTV and YouTube – this week, in celebration  of Global Wellness Day (June 13th), Dr. Michael Smith of Carolina’s Natural Health Center explored the connection between gut health and mental health, sharing tips for managing anxiety and eating healthy.  Have an idea for our BE WELL series (or interested in being featured)? We want to hear from you! [Contact sarah@novitapr.com]


Leading With Compassion

Joseph Cephas

Diversity in Design: Black Design Leaders Outline the Need for Change
“Diversity In Design: The Time For Change Is Now,” the panel discussion hosted by Novita` Communications through the #DesignStandsTogether platform on June 5th, addressed the diversity problem within the architecture and design industry. Moderator Joseph Cephas (SVP, Novità) was joined by Black industry leaders: Angelita Scott, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University), Maya Bird-Murphy (Founder: Chicago Mobile Makers), and Ronnie Belizaire, (Corporate Real Estate Manager, Daimler). This powerful panel examined the role design plays in solving social justice issues as well as the lack of diversity and representation in the profession. The discussion worked to clearly define the problems that are facing African Americans both in society and in the industry, as well as the paths forward and how everyone can help. This first half of this unique session featured the panel taking a deep dive into the topics of diversity and social justice. The second half was an interactive Q&A with the audience. [Quote Recaps] [Watch replay on YouTube here]

Putting Stylus to Tablet: Designer Depicts Messages of Hope
As a method for processing his emotions and looking at the world in a new way, Douglas Wittnebel, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, Design Director and Principal with Gensler’s Oakland, CA office translated his messages of hope for the future into powerful illustrations. “Come Together” – referring to the Beatles song emulates a sense of active youth and positive energy in the circular format, while the “Bash” gif is an animation drawing that captures the action of the fist and the burst and bash through the barriers.

American Society of Interior Designers Names Interim CEO
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has named renowned designer Gary Wheeler, FASID, FIIDA as its Interim Chief Executive Officer. The appointment comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID will step down from his position as CEO at the end of July. Wheeler, one of the most respected names in design, will lead the organization through the transition period until a permanent CEO is named. Wheeler is a titan of the design profession. His career has spanned more than 30 years in which he has led practices at Perkins&Will, Gensler, and, most recently, HDR. He has designed workplaces for companies such as Apple, Time Warner, American Express, and JP Morgan. [Press release on officenewswire here]

New Novita` Italia Contest: Advancing Responsible Design For a Better Future
Novità Italia’s new contest advances sustainable, ethical and responsible design and invites individual designers, studios, and production companies working in design and architecture to submit their designs for consideration. The winner will receive 3 free months of international press service. Submission is free of charge. Entrants may submit a single product or a collection of products in the categories of furniture, accent pieces, lighting, systems, and accessories. Each product must meet criteria of sustainability, ethics and responsibility in its design and production processes. And it should be bold, innovative, thoughtful and original. [Contest Rules + Submission form]

Working Smarter

Still Screen by Stylex , designed by Fig40

Back to Work: Office Items for the New Normal
As people return back to the office companies and designers are faced with a new design challenge—designing for social distancing. We have pulled together our top list of products for the new normal, from office screens and space dividers to chairs and laptop tables. [Press Kit]

New Textile Collection Transforms Plastic Water Bottles into Sustainable StunnersHBF Textiles + Kelly Harris Smith have partnered for an energizing, eco-friendly new fabric collection perfect for work or home: UP. The UP Collection fuses technical prowess—the majority are bleach cleanable, all feature post-consumer recycled polyester content (primarily from plastic water bottles) in their construction, and most are domestically sourced—with a modern industrial aesthetic. Kelly’s inspiration came from looking around her home city of Boston and spotting patterns in unexpected places, from construction fences to street grates.

Introducing the Humanscale Hub
Humanscale Hub is LIVE! Pioneered to accommodate an increasingly digital world, this virtual destination features a showroom tour, product announcements (including Humanscale’s NEW WellGuard Separation Panels), an inspiration gallery, video content and more. Be sure to register for NeoConnect’s conversation on June 12th, From Ocean to Office: A New Path for Plastic, featuring Jane Abernethy, Humanscale’s Chief Sustainability Officer, available here and on the Humanscale Hub. [Press release on officenewswire here]

Living Well

Daun Curry Shares 5 Tips on Creating the Ideal Outdoor Dining Spot
As the days get warmer and longer, the urge to dine alfresco increases exponentially. Whether your summer entertaining entails a table for two on an outdoor patio or backyard, poolside at a beachside retreat, under twinkling LED lights on a shared rooftop, or a small balcony or expansive terrace—creating an inviting atmosphere that exudes charm and comfort is key. Award-winning designer Daun Curry shares 5 easy-to-incorporate tips that will help you make the most of your plein-air space. [Press Kit]

5 Designs for the Ultimate Outdoor Oasis
As the summer months kick off, family barbecues, backyard bars, pool rooms, and outdoor spaces of all kinds are being used like never before. As more and more states ease restrictions, people are beginning to venture out, but the most popular place to entertain remains the home. True Residential’s large repertoire of UL-rated for outdoors undercounter units make for the perfect setup for nights of entertaining at home—with some serious style to boot. [Press Kit]

Duravit Launches New Material Science Innovation, c-shaped, As Well As NEW Happy D.2 Plus Designs by sieger design
Duravit is thrilled to announce the premiere of a brand new technology, c-shaped, and the exclusive US launch of this patent-pending technology in its expansion of the Happy D.2 Plus series by sieger design. c-shaped is an evolution of the brand’s patented c-bonded process, which enables a practically seamless connection of rounded ceramic washbasins to bathroom furniture. An innovation in material science, the technology brings a new level of precision and a seamless aesthetic to the bathroom. The additions of c-shaped and c-bonded washbasins build on the storied twenty-year history of the Happy D. series by sieger design. [Press Kit] ||  [Video]

Poltrona Frau Introduces 2020 Home Collection: Future Heritage
Poltrona Frau reflects on its legacy of design and on our evolving lifestyles at home and beyond with the debut of its newest collection. We’re thrilled to share Future Heritage, a curated mix of new classics and icons reimagined for contemporary living. It also marks the debut of ColorSphere®, a comprehensive redesign of its signature Pelle Frau® SC leathers that present seven chromatic families with 47 new shades flanked by 26 historic hues for unrivaled color quality. The brand’s 2020 launch symbolizes the ever-present innovation, hope and perseverance of the design industry, even in uncertain times. [Video] || [Press Kit]

Virtual Events

ADFF Partners With NeoCon to Present 4 Nights of Great Films
This Sunday, June 14 through Wednesday, June 17, the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) will screen four films about architecture & design, which viewers can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. Dubbed ADFF@NeoConnect, this initiative is the result of an exciting partnership with NeoCon. With special guests like Evan Snyderman and Mario Botta, this virtual event is the third installment of ADFF:Online – a series that aims to help the architecture & design community remain engaged during this socially-distanced time. Films will begin streaming each night at 8pm EST and replay at 8pm PST, followed by a Q+A with the film’s director(s). Tickets are just $3 and can be purchased here. [Films]

Happy Father’s Day!

Outdoor & Indoor Gifts Dad Will Adore
Is he a gardener? Does he like working in organized spaces? Or does he like to kick up his feet and watch the game? We know that everyone is different, which is why we’ve pulled together gifts for every type of dad. From lounge chairs to desk accessories to working tools, we’re sure there’s something for everyone. [Press Kit]