Designers join forces to support victims of the Atlanta shooting

Designers join forces to support victims of the Atlanta shooting

The American design community rallied together for the #DesignforATL fundraising campaign, an initiative by Hello Human founder Jenny Nguyen and Arati Rao of Tantuvi rugs in support of the victims of the Atlanta attacks and the wider Asian American and Pacific Islander community

With the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the United States still reeling from the events of 16 March, when a gunman murdered eight people in the Atlanta, Georgia, area (six of whom were women of Asian descent), and protests taking place around the country last weekend, the need to support and accurately represent Asians in America has never felt more urgent. Violence against AAPIs has seen a sharp spike in the United States in the past year, and increased awareness of such racist behaviour has prompted many AAPIs in the creative community to share experiences they might previously have remained quiet about.

Activism and advocacy for AAPIs may be increasingly visible in the American fashion and culinary fields, but in the design world, it is only now that a coordinated effort is starting to take shape. Today marks the launch of the #DesignforATL campaign – a digital fundraiser, organised in partnership with the Atlanta-based nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice, that will benefit the families and children of the victims in the Atlanta shooting. Organised by Jenny Nguyen, the founder of a disruptive public relations collective Hello Human, Jean Lee of Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and Arati Rao of the contemporary rug company Tantuvi, the campaign features a raffle of design objects and creative services donated by over 80 design studios and collectives from around the country.

Jenny Nguyen Hello Human founder
Jenny Nguyen, founder of disruptive PR collective Hello Human, who together with Arati Rao organised the #DesignforATL fundraising campaign

‘Arati, Jean and I started working together in summer 2020, when both Tantuvi and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio joined the Hello Human roster as founding clients. Both being from East and South Asian descent, we have often talked with each other about our personal experiences dealing with racism in America, and our mutual desire to support and lift the voices of [Black, indigenous and people of colour] designers in our community,’ says Nguyen.

‘When the Atlanta attacks happened, we felt the need to bring our design community, many of whom also belong to the AAPI community, together to raise funds for the families of the victims – we have been so humbled by the huge amount of support we have received from the diverse range of participating designers in such a short amount of time. We are hoping to make a big financial impact for the victims’ families.’

Design Fundraiser for Atlanta victims
‘Lightscape Candle Light’ sculptures by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

The raffle include works by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Colony, Karl Zahn, and Tantuvi, among many others, and even a custom public relations toolkit from Hello Human. This banding together of the design community is just the first iteration of more advocacy and representation for AAPIs to come.

Donations should be made directly to Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Including the hashtag #DesignforATL in the notes field along with the preferred designer name will ensure that the donation is added to the draw, which ends on Sunday 28 March at midnight EST. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 30 March. For more details about the participating designers and products, please visit @DesignForATL on Instagram. §


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