Ann Yoachim joins us for a cheerful, enthusiastic, and passionate conversation. The energy Ann brings to this interview is surely indicative of the energy she brings to her role as director of Tulane’s Small Center of Collaborative Design. Reflecting on the creative process, our nonlinear conversation sparked a powerful exploration of identity, impact design, and design as a coalition builder.
Ann was born and raised in Northern Pennsylvania, right near the New York state border. Though she didn’t realize it until later, her rural roots forged her interest in people and their relationship to place related to their upbringing. In particular, her curiosity fixated on distant unseen places because of her father’s military service in Vietnam. Ann majored in political science and environmental studies. Her dual degree served her with theoretical and pragmatic knowledge, allowing her to work with people through meaningful service-learning.
Tulane’s Small Center of Collaborative Design works closely with organizations led by and in the service of people of color. Ann acknowledged that design services often target the wealthy in the context of fields of architecture and urban planning. The Small Center is mindful of making diverse hires and perpetuating an ongoing dialogue of power dynamics, race, and privilege. This supports their mission to provide design services to those who are traditionally underserved by the design community. Their commitment to engagement, co-creation, and humility allows their design work to be informed, first and foremost, by the communities they serve.
Related Ann Yoachim
About the Small Center
The Hello from the Pluriverse Podcast aims to open up and create a space to have conservations about the pluriversality in design.
This podcast is a project of the Design Thinking for Social Innovation Program at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University.
Executive Producer: Lesley-Ann Noel, Ph.D
Hello from the Pluriverse 2020-2021 Student Team
Hello from the Pluriverse 2019-2020 Student Team