5 Black Designers, Makers, and Visionaries To Celebrate This Month
In recognition of Black History Month (during February and beyond), let us take a moment to celebrate and educate ourselves on the incredible legacy of some Black designers, creatives, voices, and taste-makers in our industry.
From industrial designers, to artists, architects, interior designers, and furniture craftspeople, these incredible innovators have advanced our culture and society in profound ways. All month we'll be highlighting their stories, their struggles, their triumphs, and their unparalleled contributions.
Kick off this educative journey with us by learning about 5 Black designers below - both historical & contemporary - who have shaped design as we know it today.
Follow up next week for 5 more short designer highlights!
Norma Merrick Sklarek
Cheryl McKissack Daniel (of McKissack & McKissack)
Paul Revere Williams
Dr. Noel Mayo
Dr. Noel Mayo is a creator and teacher, and is proprietor and president of Noel Mayo Associates, Inc., the first Black industrial design firm in the United States. Dr. Mayo was also the first African American to receive a B.S.degree in industrial design.
His firm's prolific work spans graphics and packaging design, interior design, and product design – including: telephones, seating, desks, lighting fixture, offices, stores and restaurants. Dr. Mayo has also prominently worked on the design of exhibits in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Lagos, Barcelona, Casablanca, and the 1964 New York World’s Fair!
At Ohio State, Mayo taught product and graphic design. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Free Library.
Noel has also established minority coaching programs through IDSA, SEGD and Ohio State University and hopes to be remembered for his tireless activism and mentorship towards uplifting creative youths.