2023 Grants Challenge

Design by Diversity Block Party

Design by Diversity Block Party is a yearly event connecting architecture, art, design, construction and engineering professionals to create a mentorship platform, introduce career options at a young age and then encourage retention of diverse design professionals at all stages of their career. This event will have a variety of ways to engage; information and activity booths to mentoring sessions, exhibitions, speakers, and more. This public event is open to students of all ages, parents, educators, professionals, and community members.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Design by Diversity (DxD) is a sub-committee of Architecture for Communities Los Angeles focusing on public awareness of the power of architecture to transform lives and creating K-12 outreach programs to develop a more diverse talent pipeline. Each year an Architect of remarkable legacy will be featured.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Following are the Design by Diversity Block Party activities: Booths: Over 60 partners hosting booths with activities, information for students on educational pathways, including community colleges and universities, and community initiatives, as well as peers and professionals to answer questions and provide guidance to students of all ages. Opening and Closing Keynotes: Representing the Southern California design community, these 2 members of the American Institute of Architects provide inspiration and insight to the paths they have taken in the architectural profession. Engagement Sessions: Morning and afternoon sessions where students sign up for a one-on-one session with a design professional. Student Competition Exhibit: Student graphic work is on display for viewing and public voting. Students will submit projects that are inspired by the Design by Diversity mission. Winning entries are presented prizes at the closing ceremony and all student work is featured in future DxD initiatives. 2x8 Exhibit: Those attending are able to view the scholarship winners from the annual design competition hosted by ACLA that features work of students selected from 19 higher education architecture programs in Southern California. Food & Beverages are available throughout the event.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

ACLA and the Design by Diversity committee works to inspire people to value architecture, and empower everyone to create a better Los Angeles; one student, one building, one community at a time. This program focuses on being at the forefront of architecture education and community building, advocating for good design created by and for all people of Los Angeles. This introduction will begin to cultivate design advocates and professionals by ensuring every person in LA has the opportunity to learn how good design improves our lives. The learnings from the Block Party will help foster participation and equity in the development of future community leaders by providing tools for community-driven decision-making.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Design by Diversity is a project supported by Architecture for Communities Los Angeles. This program's success will be measured through increasing the number of high school students introduced to careers in architecture, design, engineering and construction. Our 2022 inaugural event was supported by 150 volunteers with over 100 students attending. $46,000 was raised in sponsorships, part of which was used to support the student competition and awards. For 2023, the number of student attendees more than doubled, professional partners sponsoring information booths increased from 32 to 84. Long term success will be created when the architectural profession increases its diversity, its equity and its inclusion across the profession, when architecture becomes a fluent language in the building and planning of our City and when the study of architecture inspires the next generation of community and professional leaders to represent all of Los Angeles County.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 300

Indirect Impact: 750