DMTV Milkshake: Jennifer Rittner Discusses Design + Social Justice

Today, we officially kick off Design Milk TV (DMTV) with an official show called DMTV Milkshake. Back in April 2020, we launched a full day of design talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the design world, called The Brave New World of Design and we decided to continue by launching more shows with regular episodes, which will go on both IGTV and YouTube.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators, and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life, and passions.

06.17.20 | By
DMTV Milkshake: Jennifer Rittner Discusses Design + Social Justice
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DMTV Milkshake’s first guest is Jennifer Rittner, design educator, writer, and founder of strategic communications agency Content Matters. Jennifer’s work centers mainly on the intersections between design and social justice, equity, and representation. During her DMTV Milkshake interview, Jennifer discusses the importance and meaning of design for social impact work and how designers and firms can effectively contribute their resources to support social justice movements like the fight against police brutality and the movement to abolish systemic racism.

Jennifer’s recent written work explores the need for design educators, organizations, and leaders to collectively, “build a coordinated curriculum that addresses American racism in all the ways it is designed,” and identifies essential steps the design industry needs to take in order to, “embed equity, inclusion and representation into our collective mission” rather than continuing to focus on diversity as a separate initiative. Similar topics, such as the common practice of “performance empathy” in design, are discussed in a virtual panel Jennifer moderated for NYCxDesign, which you can view here.

In addition to her work as a communications strategist and writer, Jennifer teaches Design and Social Justice in SVA’s Products of Design MFA program and wrote the integrated design curriculum for the Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design’s AP Human Geography program, developed in conjunction with Sinclair Smith of the SVA Groundfloor Incubator and Noel Wiggins of Areaware. This summer, she is launching the Colloquium for International Graduate Students at SVA, which introduces incoming international students to life in NYC through a design lens.

View Jennifer’s DMTV Milkshake episode above, then check out the rest of the series here.

Emily Engle is a freelance writer based in NYC with an interest in all things design, specifically the design process. When she's not writing about design, Emily can either be found taking care of her 31 houseplants, going on "nature" walks in her neighborhood or studying Japanese.