On Tuesday, Prada Group and artist Theaster Gates announced the inaugural cohort of the Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab. The cohort consists of 14 creators of color across multiple disciplines to financially support and amplify them.
The lab is a three-year program, a partnership between Theaster Gates, Dorchester Industries, Rebuild Foundation, and Prada Group. The designers and artists were selected from around the world by a board consisting of Prada S.p.A. co-CEO and Prada co-creative director Miuccia Prada, writer and director Ava DuVernay, the late designer Virgil Abloh, architect Sir David Adjaye, and others.
“For too long, there has been an evident pipeline and visibility barrier for designers of color working across the creative industries,” said Theaster Gates. “The Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab not only challenges the notion that Black talent is hard to identify but also serves as an inescapable answer to it.”
The artists include fashion and textile designer Tolu Coker, architect Germane Barnes, designer Norman Teague, dancer Kyle Abraham, architect Mariam Issoufou Kamara, footwear designer Kendall Reynolds, founder and director of Oko Farms Yemi Amu, visual artist Kenturah Davis, artist Salome Asega, chef Damarr Brown, designer and educator Maya Bird-Murphy, fine artist Brandon Breaux, graphic designer Summer Coleman, and jeweler Catherine Sarr.