By the end of this year, the number of people who work at home is expected to double to over 1.3 billion, according to the US Census Bureau.
The majority of these workers are women and minorities, and the majority of them work in industries that have historically been dominated by men.
While some industries have grown, others have lost jobs to automation, globalization and automation-driven technological change.
The same cannot be said of design tools, which have traditionally been a male-dominated profession.
“We have a new reality, one in which the majority is female and minority, and design tools are used primarily by men,” said Samantha Brown, co-founder of Design and Architecture.
“We need tools that are empowering and empowering to women and to people of color, and that is where design tools become really important.”
The most important design tools for women and people of colour are:Designing for a family and for the homeDesigning in harmony with the environmentDesigning with minimal or no distraction, or creating a design that is comfortable to work with and that doesn’t conflict with the other design elementsDesigning to enhance a home’s functionality, or to enhance the overall aesthetic and comfort of the homeThe use of visual aids such as chalkboards, markers and watercolors that highlight the design elements, such as the fireplace, kitchen, bath, kitchen sink and bathtub, are examples of design that focuses on harmony.
Designers can also incorporate elements that promote healthy living, such a kitchen counter and light fixtures.
These can also be placed in an inviting setting, such the dining room or living room, where people will be able to easily identify and interact with the designs.
These design tools can also help women and minority groups gain greater access to design-related careers.
“Designing is a skill that requires a lot of practice and a lot thought, and people often find themselves with a lot less practice because they don’t know how to use a tool,” said Brown.
“This creates a vacuum for people to get better at their skills.
So a lot people think that if they want to be a designer, they have to be really good.”
The same can be said for design tools that promote health and wellness.
Many women and marginalized communities use visual aids that highlight healthy living and the benefits of exercise, which can include:Visual aids are great for inspiring and motivating people to exercise and exercise regularly, such those for the fitness center at home or in the workplaceVisual aids can also serve as a motivator for women to seek professional help when they need it, such in managing weight and managing chronic illnessA personal trainer can also use a design tool to empower and motivate a woman who is struggling with weight or with chronic illness.
“I think it is really important that we have tools that can help us find the balance between the work and the personal time that we need to do and we need a balance between our work and our personal time, so we can have the time to have a healthy lifestyle,” said Danielle Rochon, founder of Weight Loss Coach.
Brown and Rochons personal trainer, Danielle R. Rochson, share a similar vision for design-based health and fitness programs.
“[Design-based] programs are really important because they are really empowering for people who are in those communities who have been denied the tools to be able participate in that work and their work and have those tools available to them,” said Rochs personal trainer.
“The challenge is we have this current lack of access to the tools for people in those areas to get access to those skills and to have those skills available to all of us.”
Designing tools can be useful for women as well.
For example, designers can design home layouts to help women feel more confident in the home, or create a more comfortable and inviting environment.
They can also create a design for an area to facilitate communication and collaboration, or provide more space for the family to play together.
In addition to helping women feel empowered and confident, design tools may help build positive attitudes about design and encourage designers to use the tools.
“The power of design and the power of visual design is to create a place where people can really feel valued and appreciated, and feel like they are part of a team, a team of people,” said Dr. Shanna Loomis, associate professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Design.
“They can feel like, ‘This is where I belong and this is where the work goes.'”
For example, Loomus suggests designers use a “design-for-a-family” theme to help people feel comfortable about having a family in their homes, or using the “design for a life” theme in a kitchen to highlight the positive benefits of healthy living.
Design tools can help create a safe space for people of all ages to work together, and to make their homes more comfortable.