JennAir Disrupting Design collaborates with The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) to create $375,000 scholarship fund
On Tuesday, the JennAir Brand (“JennAir”) announced the launch of its Disrupting Design program, which aims to create access and opportunities for racialized interior designers in the industry. The program is the result of research, listening and community input led by JennAir to determine how to increase racial diversity in the design space and is supported through several key initiatives.
“As a brand built around progress, cutting-edge design and disruption, JennAir is deeply committed to advancements in the design sector,” says Gary Power, Vice President and General Manager, Whirlpool Canada. “This begins with the people who are responsible for creating, inspiring and pushing the boundaries of design across all fields of the industry. We believe that better representation of racialized Canadians will drive stronger, more diverse design work.”
The JennAir Disrupting Design program aims at creating access and opportunities, as well as providing actionable solutions to galvanize change, for racialized designers in the industry. As a first step, JennAir has collaborated with The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) to create the JennAir Scholars Award. The $375,000 scholarship fund will support Black, Indigenous and racialized students in the Bachelor of Interior Design program, and the planned Masters program, over five years. It is the highest dollar value Interior Design scholarship available at the University.
“Reducing the barriers to education is a significant first step toward increasing the representation of racialized students,” says Charles Falzon, Dean of The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University. “The JennAir Scholars Award will create opportunities for students to enter the School of Interior Design and progress through the industry.”
Along with the JennAir Scholars Award, JennAir and TMU will launch a paid internship program for design students offering real world experience to help build their resumes. For racialized design graduates at TMU, a sponsorship program matching graduates with successful working interior designers will ensure continued mentorship beyond the classroom. In addition to its work with TMU, JennAir will partner with racialized designers each year for kitchen renovations, which will be featured on the JennAir website and social channels.
The launch of the Disrupting Design program will assist in further understanding the gaps in the interior design sector and what can be done to bridge them.
Defying physics with the invention of downdraft ventilation, Lou Jenn, JennAir’s founder, forged the path to an open concept floor plan and changed the kitchen forever. JennAir crafts distinctive luxury kitchen appliances that push form and function to transform spaces.