Happy New Year to you! It has been said, “Without people, places are merely spaces, void of any contextual depth, energy, warmth or life.” When we search for that sense of community and listen to voices outside of our usual circles, we discover the generosity, selflessness and empathy that unites us. The compassion and creativity that has emerged during this past year should be an inspiration and a guide for how we move forward in 2021.
A human-centered, heartfelt approach is exactly the attitude that will enable us to mend what has been broken and design a better future for all. This will require vulnerability paired with the courage to listen, collaborate and evolve together. While we don’t necessarily have all the answers, it is up to us to determine what happens next. We miss each other and while technology and virtual conferences have made it easier to stay in touch, there’s no substitute for the powerful feeling of connection with one another while in person.
This is why, in the new year, place matters. It’s not just where we gather, it’s where we share a life together, comforting each other in challenging times and celebrating each other in good times. Let’s use place to further build connections and community because without one another, our lives feel as dim and empty as the spaces we’ve had to leave behind.
To that end, I’m pleased to share the launch of the 2021 Good Design Initiative. Focused on diversity, unity and inclusion, this effort aims to showcase and connect more ASID members throughout the year. By sharing professional insights, successes and tips, my sincere hope is that we become even more united and stronger as a profession.
In closing, let’s not let the lessons of the past be for naught. The perspective we’ve gained can spur us into action and growth in the months to come. Join me in turning the page to 2021, making this year the moment of change that shifts the trajectory of health, humanity and design for our world. We can shape a better environment driven by empathy, courage and unity if we are vulnerable enough to lean into building it with each other.
Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS
Chair, ASID National Board of Directors
Owner, Creative Director, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab