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Ayako Takase, IDSA

Co-founder, Observatory & Associate Professor, Rhode Island School of Design

Ayako Takase is a gender non-conforming Asian mother and parent in the US who is never perfectly here nor there. Ayako is a fluid designer and educator who centers their practice on creating experiences and objects that foster meaningful, emotive connections with people, culture, and audiences. Ayako is a co-founder and director of Observatory, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Providence, RI. Observatory relies foremost on an intuitive process that allows a natural interplay of form and function in their designs. The studio’s work has earned numerous awards working with leading companies such as Herman Miller, Google, and Procter & Gamble. Ayako is also an Associate Professor at Rhode Island School of Design and graduate program director of the Industrial Design department. She teaches hands-on studios that focus on human-centric design, emotive design, and iterative design.

Urgent Call for Intersectionality in Design

IDC Presentation

Sept 12, 2022

Main Stage

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

This session is a proposition, a plea to design professionals, organizations, and industries to intentionally open doors to those different from you. To this day, non-cis-male, non-Euro-centric, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, non-binary & trans, neurodivergent, disabled, anyone who does not fit our mainstream mold, has been gatekept out of our industry -- ironic for a profession that champions empathy. Using the examples of their own 20+ year design career and those who opened doors for them, Ayako invites the audience to reality check the current state of industrial design as a field regarding inclusivity, examine of diversity-hire trends, and share a call to do better.

The audience will learn. . .
- The true meaning of inclusivity in organizations
- The importance and necessity of intersectionality in the industry
- The ripple effects of inclusivity and intersectionality in design fields and beyond, and hopefully walk away with the agency to make changes within their organizations
- Bonus: Their 20+ year design career/projects and those who opened doors and provided the the opportunity to work and grow together

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