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Dorchester Industries, the design and manufacturing arm of Theaster Gates Studio, has announced a collaboration with Prada Group for the establishment of Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab. The new three-year program in Chicago will act as a platform for emerging artists and designers of color, amplifying the work of creatives in the arts—spanning fashion, furniture, industrial and graphic design, and more.
“I’m thrilled to collaborate with Prada Group to generate a new hub of design energy on the South Side by engaging a network of skilled designers, artists, and intellectuals around our first cohort of awardees and their projects,” said Theaster Gates, founder of Dorchester Industries and Rebuild Foundation and Co-Chair of the Prada Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. “For too long, our creative communities have possessed the talent but lacked exposure and opportunity. Now more than ever, today’s leading creatives must elevate the work of emerging designers of color and connect them to great companies interested in diverse talent.”
The design lab will also award creators to provide financial support and creative opportunities, establishing relationships with global companies that are interested in collaborating with diverse talents. Receipients will also expand their networks by participating in annual activations and workshops in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In October, the first list of awardees will be announced.
“Prada is extremely pleased to be working together with artist and social innovator Theaster Gates to advance our shared goal of equipping the next generation of creative leaders and designers with the skills, network and support that will allow them to grow their artistic influence and professional development," added Malika Savell, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Prada North America.
“The Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab is a critical step in the right direction to ensure that leading design companies have a pipeline of talented creatives who bring with them their diverse experiences and backgrounds”, said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Marketing Director & Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.