Recapping the Results of the Queer Design Count, Live

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Last year, unsatisfied with the depth of AIGA’s Design Census as it pertains to LGBTQ+ creatives, the minds behind Queer Design Club launched their own dive into data: the Queer Design Count.

The project covers industry bias, gender, race, sexuality and more, and seeks to amplify queer voices in design—and on Tuesday, Queer Design Club co-founders Rebecca Brooker and John Hanawalt are teaming up with AIGA NY for a Zoom panel to discuss the results.

After framing the data, Brooker and Hanawalt and members of the Queer Design Club community will have a dialogue about the findings, and share their personal experiences.

Folks can expect to hear discussions around issues of income inequality, racial and gender bias, LGBTQ representation in leadership and more, Brooker says. Another large discussion point will be the experiences POC designers face trying to navigate an industry structured for white voices.

Here’s a bit about each participant by way of bio:

Rebecca Brooker (she/her), designer

Rebecca is a queer graphic designer from Trinidad and Tobago. She currently lives in Buenos Aires after living in New York City for several years. She works as a senior designer at MediaMonks and as a partner at Planthouse Studio. In her free time, she’s usually practicing boxing, shitposting on Twitter, hosting dinner parties with friends and spending time with plants and nature. She values communities and loves bringing people together, which is what led her to start Queer Design Club.

John Hanawalt (he/him), designer

John is a gay designer who teaches, writes and advocates for a more inclusive, just design industry and world. He’s worked with nonprofits, social enterprises and other good causes over the last decade and believes a good designer isn’t just a decorator, they’re a trouble maker. He’s a lead product designer at Stitch Fix and an alum of Mule Design, the OutCast Agency, Elefint Designs and Fenway Health. He has an English bulldog/pug mix who has more Instagram followers than he does.

Alex Chen (they/them), designer and writer

Alex is a designer, writer and martial artist based in Chicago. Navigating the world as a queer nonbinary Chinese-American, they specialize in digital accessibility and leverage design to serve advocacy and transformative justice.

Chaya Howell (she/her), creative

Chaya is a creative born and based in Brooklyn, NY. She studied graphic design and photography at RIT, and went on to work within various production environments shortly after graduating. Having worked within different industries, she’s adopted titles such as producer, production designer, and art director in the process—but that’s all to say, she’s genuinely just a collaborative gal! Her latest collaboration is a community-inspired experiment at Dear Borromeo, where she dabbles in new mediums and sustainability ideas alongside her childhood friend.

Micah Rivera (they/he), designer

Micah is a proud trans/gender nonbinary Latinx designer based in San Francisco. In his role as principal designer for All Turtles, he leads design efforts in concept, brand and product for companies that focus on social good. Most recently, he led the design discipline for Spot—an online reporting tool that helps people anonymously report harassment and discrimination in the workplace. In 2019, Micah founded Queer X Design, a community event series highlighting the queer experience and the intersection of design practice.

Treavor Wagoner (he/him), product designer

Treavor is an independent product designer specializing in DesignOps and service design. His career has been a wild adventure full of working with great people, traveling to beautiful places and experiencing amazing opportunities. He’s also a writer and published his first book in 2016. He co-leads Black UX Austin, which aims to provide a safe and enriching experience for Black UX professionals in Austin. He supports the Trevor Project, RAINN, Beach Please water cleanup in India, and the Ocean Cleanup.

As for Queer Design Club itself, its mission is “to promote and celebrate all the amazing work that happens at the intersection of queer identity and design worldwide—from LGBTQ+ designers’ contributions to the industry to design’s role in queer activism throughout history.” Click here to learn more about the community—and to browse its awesome directory of designers.

The event, which is scheduled for 3–4 p.m. (ET) July 7 and is part of AIGA NY’s Fresh Dialogue series, is chaired by Carly Ayres and Zipeng Zhu (who created the delightful graphics that appear in this post).

The panel is free, though donations are accepted—and all proceeds go to the Center for Black Equity.

For more info, stop by AIGA NY—and to register, click here.