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RDI Series Tackles Retail Design Diversity

First webinar session available now on YouTube




The Retail Design Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council presented the first in a series of webinars tackling diversity, its effects on the industry and the meaningful change the design community can bring, in a virtual presentation on March 31, 2021.

“Many of us are curious what we can do or say and are truly motivated to action to create much needed change,” commented Andrew Lee, AIA, RDI, and co-chair of the Institute’s DEI Council. “Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council have a true interest to explore how we can discuss, navigate and move the needle in our professional design worlds and affect change together. We intend to provide a platform that allows our members and members of our industry to learn from thought leaders and discover paths to enact change,” Lee added.

The 90-minute session, moderated by Keisha Blake-Harp, executive director, Women Presidents’ Educational Organization,  featured three design practitioners of color representing areas of architecture and interior design. Elsie St. Léger, Gregory T. Switzer and Kavitha Mathew detailed their own careers and then addressed how professional organizations can tackle diversity. They also fielded follow-up questions offered by the audience. The panelists are also members of other professional design associations including the American Institute of Architects, the National Organization of Minority Architects, and the International Interior Design Association.

Added Lee, “Our intention and hope is to share what industry thoughts and plans for the future and hope to inspire individually and our organizations to create real opportunities for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion every day.” The second presentation I will be Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Registration is available at

About the panelists: Elsie St. Léger, IIDA, is president-elect of IIDA NY. She is an interior designer and assistant project manager at NYU Langone Health. Gregory T. Switzer, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, is president of the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. He is founder and managing principal of Gregory Switzer Architecture.  Kavitha Mathew, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, is a special projects director of AIA New York. She is founder of Equity Co:LAB.

View the session


Founded in 1961, the Retail Design Institute promotes the advancement and collaborative practice of creating selling environments. The international non-profit association has Chapters throughout the North America in addition to South America, Europe and Asia.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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