We are a Social Design House, centring the experiences, needs and futures of UK Black communities.

We reimagine abundant futures with Black communities and design the services, solutions and change to get us there.

Why we

Black communities are living with the impact of systems and services that were not designed to meet our needs. Our outcomes across health, education, employment and criminal justice, suffer as a consequence.

For real change to happen, we must find new ways to design more and design differently with our communities – shifting inequalities which keep us from thriving.

Our aims

Designing and making real the services and solutions which need to exist for Black communities but currently don’t
Developing an equity-centered practice which centers Black experiences, histories, identities and assets in the design process
Creating ways to mobilise and empower Black communities to design solutions on their own terms.
Provoking change within systems and institutions to design more and differently with Black communities.
Building a vibrant community of Black Designers and change makers, reframing the practice and potential of design

“If you’re Black
in Britain,
it can often
still feel like
you’re living
in a different

(Equality Commission)

Our work

Addressing racial inequalities facing Black communities, is not on the fringes, but is the focus of our work. We are dedicated to decolonising design & reimagining its role and value in enabling better outcomes for Black communities. We do this through:

Equity Lab

An inhouse dedicated space for designing the ideas, services and solutions which need to exist for Black communities but currently don’t. All research inquiries are influenced by Black communities, led by us and funded through our profits or in partnership with allies.

Case Study

Project: Our Joy

The need: Black communities have once again been faced with the realities of racial injustice, resurfaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. From our loss of lives to livelihoods – the disproportionate effects are hard to escape.

Our question: How do we create spaces of joy and connection for Black communities in order to build our collective resilience?

Funding Partner: The National Lottery Community Fund

Support our Equity Lab

Design Partner

We partner with organisations on projects to design more and better services and solutions with Black communities. By bringing our expertise, knowledge, and challenge we seek to provoke change within systems and institutions in designing more equitably with Black communities.

Case Study

Project: Reimagining the future of community health The need: to support a local community develop and prototype ideas to transform a local medical centre into an inclusive space, meeting the communities broader health and wellbeing needs. Commissioning Partner: Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group Partner with us

Design Education

We work with the design organisations & educational institutions committed to embedding equity into their design practice. We offer tailored training and workshops that provoke thought and help build more equitable practices.

Case Study

Project: Equity by Design: Principles + Practice The need: facilitating a learning journey for a service design agency to broaden their knowledge and practice of taking an equity approach to their work. Commissioning Partner: dxw Work with us

Design Community

We are building a vibrant community of existing and future Black designers committed to change for Black communities. We support them to develop their design practice, build connections and use design as their tool for change.

Case Study

Project: Change by Design: Rooted Community Event

The need: Black Designers want to be connected to each other, and work which impacted our communities. This event held at the Africa Centre explored design and inequalities.

Join Our Community

Our team

We are the home to talented designers, researchers and futurists – connected by a vision where Black communities have all we need, to be everything that we are.
Julian Thompson

Julian Thompson

Founder, Director Design Strategy + Practice
Zaïsha Smith

Zaïsha Smith

Director, Projects + Communities
Ashley Evans

Ashley Evans

Senior Social Designer
Andrea Burris

Andrea Barris​

Resident Futurist
Tayo Medupin

Tayo Medupin​

Design Consultant

AJ Haastrup

AJ Haastrup​

Social Designer

David Adesanya

David Adesanya​

Senior Social Designer
Terrayne Brown

Terrayne Brown

Social Designer

Guardians and Advisors

We have a fantastic group of advisors who have been encouraging our vision and sharing their knowledge and skills to strengthen our projects and our organisation. They are tasked with protecting our core, keeping us accountable and on track with the impact we aim to make.

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© 2021 Rooted by Design Ltd
Company number: 11015622