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Lecture Series Fall 2020

Andrea Love
Performing Beautifully: Fusion of Design and Performance
August 18

Kia Weatherspoon
Design Without Labels - Design EquityTM Strategies for All People
September 23

Juan Miro
Childs Memorial Lecture
Building A New Arcadia: Reflecting On 20 Years of Work
October 7

Katherine Williams
Harnessing the Vortex: Maximizing a Career in Architecture
October 28

Saúl Alcántara
Mexico-Tenochtitlan: A Lacustrine Landscape between History and Innovation
November 4

Jay Cephas
Authentically You: Histories of Navigating Race and Identity in Data Landscapes
November 11


Lecture Series Fall 2020: Kia Weatherspoon

Design Without Labels – Design Equity™ Strategies for All People

kia weatherspoon

We invite you to join us for a lecture by Kia Weatherspoon on September 23 at 6 PM.

As the founder of Determined by Design, Kia Weatherspoon brings with her not only over 10 years of experience in the interior design field for a range of clients, but also her time serving in the U.S. Air Force-making her a well-rounded leader and one who is committed to providing high-quality services in an equitable design practice.

Ms. Weatherspoon founded her firm, Determined by Design based in Washington, D.C. with a focus on multi-family, affordable and supportive housing properties, and small businesses in economically-challenged and emerging communities. The company is committed to serving those who are the most in need and making interior design a standard for all.

For Weatherspoon, to be a woman, specifically a woman of color, in interior design can often feel isolating, and she notes that her craft "isn't often utilized in communities, housing and businesses of color." However, she has personally experienced the power of design and how it can change lives. She is motivated to "change that narrative...and make exceptional design accessible to people who need it the most."

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 EquityTM. 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, Weatherspoon will help the audience recognize the impact of labels, demographics and data on the design process. She will share her mission of Design EquityTM, challenging professionals to approach projects with a focus on community and the collective human experience. Weatherspoon 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, she 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.

Momentum at Shady Grove - Derwood, Maryland
Momentum at Shady Grove - Derwood, Maryland
Momentum at Shady Grove is an affordable housing project located 30 minutes west of Washington, DC. The average median income for families supported by this project is $45,000. This community has a rich history connected to the US Postal Service, railways and some of the earliest blacksmiths in the region. The history informed the Determined By Design concept for the project-Zones Etched in Travel. The design team wanted to create visual elements that move the eye and connect the people. Connecting people was the priority. This project exemplifies Determined by Design's mission-Interior Design as a standard for creating moments and experiences for all.

Archer Park Apartments interior
Archer Park Apartments interior
Archer Park Apartments - South East, Washington, DC
Determined By Design was able to bring the story of the building's namesake to life in this environment. Romulus Cornelius Archer was the second black registered architect in Washington, DC. The team was passionate about creating a concept that paid homage to his work and reflected his story. The intent was to make this project a source of inspiration for the boys and girls of color who will live in the community.

Cherry Blossom Intimates interior
Cherry Blossom Intimates - Landover, MD
Every person deserves a dignified and elevated experience when they walk into a space. The Determined By Design team was shocked to learn breast cancer survivors do not have that type of experience when being fit for their prosthesis. The team immediately knew Cherry Blossom Intimates needed a space that was graceful and ethereal.