In 2016, Canada welcomed 296,340 new permanent residents from over 190 countries. Specifically, the Canadian Government resettled more than 25,000 Syrian refugees between November 4, 2015 and February 29, 2016. The commitment from Canada continued into 2017 with a total of 40,000 refugees arriving in Canada as of January 29, 2017.1
The United States of America granted permanent lawful residence to more than one million people in 2015.2 According to the Pew Research Center, “Americans are more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and the U.S. is projected to be even more diverse in the coming decades. By 2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority.”
With growth in people and increasingly diverse populations, the design communities of the North American nations must create robust economic, social, and political infrastructure that is built for success among all demographics. The Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) held the Impact Summit 2017: Migration, Culture, and Diversity in the Built Environment to emphasize the role of interior designers and explain how they can work with other professionals to build successful communities.
The Impact Summit 2017 was held May 8-9, 2017, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Presented here are the outcomes of the event and the action steps that will guide the design community, governments at all levels, other design sectors, and non-profit organizations in designing for diversity.