The Summer Issue
In our annual summer issue, we celebrate all things warm, inviting and breezy and what the sunshine brings. We showcase a selection of world-class homes in holiday-worthy locations, alongside stories on new products and collaborations that are making waves in design circles.
Not long before I wrote this issue’s letter, director Chloé Zhao made history as the first Asian woman, and only the second woman ever, to win one of the Academy’s highest accolades — the Oscar for best director — for Nomadland. In 2020, we saw South Korean director Bong Joon-ho sweep up a long list of awards for his black comedy-thriller Parasite, including Oscars for best director and best picture, the latter marking a first for any non-English language film.
Why is this so significant? Because stories are important, and diversity in stories and storytelling even more so.
Storytelling is a cultural tradition as old as humankind. We tell stories to learn from one another, with facts, legends and myths passed down from generation to generation. If we’re lucky, we see ourselves represented in them. When a story is particularly relatable, it can be profoundly inspiring; even if not, it can present opportunities to see the world through someone else’s eyes, to walk in their shoes for just a few moments.
However, when stories aren’t representative of or relatable for a more diverse audience, we do a great disservice to that audience and to ourselves. Those times are, at best, missed learning opportunities, but at worst they’re injustices to all people who don’t see themselves represented in stories, real or fictional, and who as a result may struggle to find their own path or be inspired to grow to their fullest potential.
We as a society need to see a diversity of perspectives, hear a diversity of voices and get to know a diversity of characters, because our collective stories help foster inclusion, acceptance and empathy. We’re living in an increasingly polarised world, so there’s no time like the present to listen and to truly hear each other, and to rejoice in our commonalities as well as our differences.
When we founded Design Anthology a little more than seven years ago, we recognised that as Westerners, our voices were already heavily represented, but we saw that there were innumerable stories that needed to be told about the people working in this extraordinarily creative region. We hope we’re doing our part to address this imbalance.
As always, stay well until next time.