Design Without Labels – Design Equity™ Strategies for All People (Afternoon Keynote)

Challenge the world of labels that has hindered creativity and Design Equity™ to push towards well-designed spaces for all.

We live in a world of labels—corporate, hospitality, senior, millennial, black, white, affordable, high-end, etc. While these descriptors and identifiers may have been intended to support sales, marketing, and other functions, they have essentially created a more polarized human experience and hindered creativity and Design Equity™. These labels prevent design professionals from thinking outside of the box and providing the best possible solutions for clients. Labels have made design seem out of reach for some people, when well-designed spaces should be a standard for all, not a luxury for a few.

In this presentation, Kia Weatherspoon, ASID, NCIDQ (2021 ASID Design for Humanity winner) will help the audience recognize the impact of labels, demographics, and data on the design process. She will share her mission of Design Equity™, challenging professionals to approach projects with a focus on community and the collective human experience. Kia believes that change is possible through design. By adjusting language and spearheading a more inclusive design process, architects and designers can create with empathy and develop thoughtful concepts that tell stories, connect people, and unite communities. Through this presentation, Kia will challenge firms and design professionals to support an inclusive design process in order to properly reflect the communities they serve and inspire the next generation of designers and architects.


Kia Weatherspoon, ASID, NCIDQ, D.F.A. (h.c.)

President + Founder

Determined by Design

The design voice of impact and change—Kia Weatherspoon, NCIDQ, ASID, D.F.A. (h.c) has spent the last 15 years defying every design stereotype. The most damaging—interior design is a luxury reserved for a few. Her voice, advocacy for Design Equity™, and design practice have shifted the narrative, making interior design a standard for all. Kia is challenging the lack of these standards in economically challenged communities. Her presence and leadership have created ripples, prompting housing developers, agencies, and industry partners in economically challenged communities to not just take notice of her work—but to do better. 

She became the design leader, educator, business owner and speaker she never saw. In doing so she has been recognized as a recipient of the Design for Humanity National award from American Society of Interior Design, HIP Designer for Good by Interior Design Magazine, Commercial Real Estate Women Washington D.C. (CREW DC) Raise Up Your Voice Recipient and the International Interior Design Association Luna Textile/Anna Hernandez Visionary Award recipient. She also received an Honorary Doctorate from the New York School of Interior Design for her contributions to the industry. Kia is a full-time professor, sought after speaker and mentor. She truly demonstrates what’s possible when you’re determined by design.

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Design Without Labels – Design Equity™ Strategies for All People (Afternoon Keynote)
09/11/2021 at 4:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
09/11/2021 at 4:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes Join us in the Grand Ballroom for Saturday's Afternoon Keynote.