The latest WILD event, the Design Meets Design Showcase, was about diversity. With speakers from all walks and spheres of life sharing their thoughts on inclusivity, empowerment and design, we all left feeling that much stronger, and daring to be wild…
WILD is has been focused, and successfully so, on empowering women. It says as much in the name. However, the latest edition of WILD was a bit different. Realising the need for including all in the conversation, irrespective of gender, the latest WILD event was open to everyone who sought to learn from industry leaders.
Representatives from key manufacturers, along with three leading designers within the regional industry, spoke of their methods, inspiration, drive, successes (and failures), and their life journey, all of which led them to where they are today.
Neslihan Kucukaslan, Architect and Regional Manager, Interface, talked about the company’s commitment to diversity and sustainability; about Interface’s dedication to bringing about a positive change in the field of design via innovative products, such as Human Connections. Aparna Nair, Art Director at Frederick Charles Art, stressed on the specificity of creating art and emotions, exemplifying this with a short competition of sorts, where the audience were asked to sketch their ‘strengths’. Didi Lenz, Head of Innovation and Design at Bene, spoke about the company’s long standing involvement with WILD and the importance of diversity in the workspace. Fausto Bertagnoli, Area Manager, Mirage, highlighted the necessity for their products to have the tag, ‘Made In Italy’. Lastly, Courtney Mark, Founder of Studio Mark, along with Michelaine Leon from Huda Lighting, put the ‘spotlight’ on the importance of a lighting designer’s presence in a team, and cultivating strong relationships with dealers, to achieve innovation.
Key speakers from the industry spoke on various aspects of diversity and individuality. Here are some interesting and valuable snippets from their conversations…
“If you want to design something different, we need to think different and you can gather different approaches and thoughts by the diversity of people. It’s like a fruit salad, the more variety, the better” – Medy Navani, Medy Haus Design
Limits Beyond Limits
Medy, CEO Of Medy Haus Design, spoke at length about the perceived limits of the human brain, how pushing your body to its full potential is hindered by the thought of what you consider to be ‘your limit’. He also discussed about diversity playing a crucial role in promoting and developing new ideas.
“Yes, it might come across as slightly feminist or sexist to have an all girls studio, but the stats show that only 10 percent of creative directors in the world are women. So I feel like I’m just righting a wrong” – Pallavi Dean, Roar
An All Girls Studio
Pallavi Dean, Founder and CEO of Roar, talked about the crucial role of having an all women team in her studio. According to the designer, the style of a women only firm is not sexist, but in fact necessary for improving the women to men ratio in the industry at large, and more specifically, the corporate workspace.
“I did a course recently with Harvard University and where I learnt that there is almost forty percent more efficiency when there’s ‘true diversity’. True diversity is a lot of things; it’s not just diversity of ways of thinking, but also the culture behind an environment that allows that diversity to thrive” – Isabel Pintado, Wilson Associates
Owning Your Dot
Isabel Pintado, Regional Managing Director of Wilson Associates, spoke about bringing out the unique individuality contained within us all – to consider oneself as a dot, a collection of which make up the bigger picture. However, harnessing your individuality and ‘owning your dot’ is the only was to stand out.