Black History Month: A Session on Embracing Multiculturalism with Michael Marshall, AIA, NOMA

Gensler Design Exchange Podcast
2 min readFeb 11, 2021
© Michael Marshall Design

All throughout Black History Month, we’ll be featuring special episodes on the Gensler Design Exchange podcast that celebrate Black heritage and discuss how design can evolve to become more diverse and inclusive. Today, we’re sharing a rebroadcast of our episode “Embracing Multiculturalism” with Michael Marshall, Design Director & Principal of Michael Marshall Design, whose highly-acclaimed work has won countless industry awards and is featured in the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. The conversation, moderated by Gensler Principal & Global Director of Design, Jordan Goldstein, touches upon Michael’s incredible career, design inspirations, standout projects, and design driver to always “use design to create greater opportunities and access in the arts, education, and for community services and resources that enhance and improve people’s lives.”

Kicking off the episode is a Q&A with Gensler D.C. Interior Designer & Associate Dom Sanchez, NCIDQ, and Gensler Atlanta Interior Designer & Principal Gail Malone, LEED AP, NCIDQ, RID, speaking on the importance of community to create action toward a more inclusive future.

Dom Sanchez, NCIDQ, Associate, Gensler D.C. | Gail Malone, LEED AP, NCIDQ, RID, Principal, Gensler Atlanta

Our communities represent a myriad of perspectives and a full spectrum of experiences that, when embraced, shape our shared experiences, the physical landscapes of our cities, and the positive momentum toward shared goals. Indeed, the success of a community relies upon this concerted effort to coexist, listen and share in the midst of our diversity.

The sum of our different cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds is what ultimately enriches the urban experience, and it’s critical we celebrate these differences by creating gathering spaces where everyone is invited to participate, be themselves, and openly share their unique experiences. As designers, we are committed to dreaming and creating the places where we live, work, and play — and the truth is that we need to work harder to design spaces that are open, equitable, and safe.

We’re at a place where we’re trying to, as they say, raise all boats, and we need to do that on a big spectrum, and it’s racial, social, economic, and now’s the time.

Michael Marshall, AIA, NOMA

To read the full episode transcript, click here.

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Gensler Design Exchange Podcast

The Gensler Design Exchange creates a dialogue between design experts, creative trendsetters & thought leaders to discuss how we can shape the future of cities.