Over a year has passed since our country was ignited by the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to name a few of the innocent Black lives to have been senselessly taken.
The American Historian Howard Zinn wrote, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world.”
Over the past year, we certainly haven’t done anything grand or heroic, but we do want to share a couple of “small acts” that we have done in hopes that our country will be transformed.
One small act was creating a Black artists and vendors database whom we are intentionally seeking to incorporate into our projects. We were recently able to include the great art and product of Ciara of Pretty Strange Studio and Baba Tree Basket Company on a recent project. We are also trying to highlight minority creators.
The BlackSpace Manifesto deeply impacted the SR/A team, particularly the concept of “Create circles, not lines.” This concept aims to create less hierarchy and create more dialogue, inclusion, and empowerment at its heart. This is a broad concept that can touch every facet of our lives, and in our case, designs. At SR/A, we are committed to incorporating the idea of “create circles, not lines” through our space plans (more areas for non-hierarchical conversation), through our material/FF+E selection (spending the time to find out who creates these products and if they are doing so in an ethical manner, ensuring we work with artisans who share our values) and through our design principles (creating flexible open spaces).
Change is happening quietly all across our country. By ordinary people like you, like us, intentionally thinking and acting differently so that change becomes a reality. What’s your small act?