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Prada and Theaster Gates launch Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab

Sep 16, 2021 Italy
Prada and Theaster Gates launch Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab
The three-year collab initiative aims at amplifying the work of emerging and established artists of colour through awards and public programming. The space will be located in Chicago

“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. 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 colour and connect them to great companies interested in diverse talent”, stated Theaster Gates, founder of Dorchester Industries and Rebuild Foundation and Co-Chair of the Prada Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council. 

The collaboration between Dorchester Industries, the design and manufacturing wing of Theaster Gates Studio, Prada Group and Rebuild Foundation will allow artists in the fashion, furniture, industrial and graphic design areas to develop their body of work with training and exchange of critical feedback. At the same time, it will function as a platform for exhibitions, performances and dialogue with both communities and large-scale organizations looking to diversify talent. The Experimental Design Lab will also award emerging designers. The awardees, nominated by leaders across the fashion, art and design industries, will receive financial support as well as opportunities to foster their networks through annual activations and workshops in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. 

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”, said Malika Savell, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Prada North America. Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Marketing Director & Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, added that “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”. 

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