13 Feb Diversity in Design: Jasmine Yvette Kent
Jasmine Kent is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she earned a B.S. in Architecture and competed in Division 1 Track & Field. Jasmine graduated with her Masters Degree in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University. She currently works as a Junior Apparel Designer for Under Armour.
“By diversifying the graphic art/design industry, the world will get to share in, and participate with new perspectives of design. Designers of different backgrounds will get to cross-pollinate, inspiring the culture and opening minds of people who have different experiences. Empathy, inspiration, and connection is what we have to gain by diversifying our industry.”
2. Black graphic artists / designers are often the only one of their kind in any one room at a time. What can we do to change the makeup of the graphic art / design community so it looks more like the world we live in?
“I’m sure there is more than one correct answer to this, but my personal opinion is that we can do two things: First, we can work with our youth more to introduce graphic art and design as a legitimate career path, just as much as we emphasize STEM to our youth. This way we have more people knocking on the door. Second, we can activate our networks by bringing our community opportunities first. Whether we hear about a job, or refer someone for a project, we should bring these opportunities to our creatives of color immediately and as frequently as we can. This way we can bring people into the room. After that, I hope we have confidence in our experiences, communicate that through our design, and share it with the world.”
3. Name a black graphic artist / designer other than yourself, living or deceased, that made an impact on your aesthetic or work style. How does that impact present itself in your work?
“David Adjaye and Phil Freelon made the largest impact on my work style. I met them through NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) in 2012, before the National Museum of African American History and Culture was built. They are truly the architects of the black experience and they showed me that my life experience has value. The only way that is seen through my work is the fact that I do the work instead of believing a lie that what I think, say, or imagine does not matter or have a place in this society. I am more confident because of them and I am higher because of them.”
Images © Jasmine Yvette Kent. Used with permission.