Design for Identity: 6 Habits of Culturally Competent Designers

The 6 habits of culturally competent designers are critical tools highlighted in the book Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World, a go-to manual for any organization that wants to know what it looks like to activate the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in practice. Designing for identity is the key to getting beyond corporate statements about social justice and diversity recruiting statistics. It’s about evolving the design process to ensure that customers’ cultural identities are explored and incorporated from project initiation through execution and that designers' interpretations of identity truly reflect and honor what's most meaningful to customers.

The 6 habits are behaviors designers can adopt to engage in a brave new dialogue where identity and culture are no longer taboo; they're actually embraced and celebrated in day-to-day interactions. As the demographics and dynamics of our society continue to shift, the 6 habits will help designers show up in ways that resonate with the diverse public we serve and bring about more positive outcomes for historically excluded people, including those among their colleagues and their future customer base.

Jessica Bantom
Jessica Bantom
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Practitioner, Interior Design Consultant, and Speaker 

Jessica is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging practitioner, interior design consultant, and speaker whose mission is to help designers increase their cultural competence so they can create in ways that honor humanity. Recently named Global Leader of Equity, Diversity, and Belonging for DLR Group, Jessica is active in the design industry as an engaged advocate committed to promoting DEIB in the industry and in practice. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Marymount University, Jessica is a skilled management consultant with over 20 years of experience, a compelling speaker, and a certified facilitator and coach with a passion for enabling individuals to take actions that create meaningful outcomes for historically excluded people. You can learn more about Jessica and her book, Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World, at

LearningSCAPES 2024 Conference in Portland, Oregon


Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232


October 16-19, 2024


+1 480.391.0840