“Is Design a Global Language?” Jomo Tariku

Is Design a Global Language?
Jomo Tariku

Cody Gallery, Marymount University
Curated by Moira Denson

March 14, 2024 – April 30, 2024
Artist Talk: Thursday, March 14, 4:30-5:30pm Reception: Thursday March 14, 5:30-7:30pm

Jomo Tariko, MeQuamya Chair


“Is Design a Global Language?” Exhibition Spotlights Lack of Diversity in Design Canon

[Arlington Va, 3/14/24] – Kenyan Born Ethiopian-American (Virginia is home) designer Jomo Tariku’s research on the lack of representation of African and African American designers in the global design canon is the key focus in the “Is Design a Global Language?” exhibition. Using data visualization, process, and cultural inspiration, Tariku’s work sheds light on the stark realities of diversity within the design industry.

The exhibition showcases Tariku’s journey through the lens of his signature stools, each reflecting his deep connection to African culture and heritage. Through videos and process displays, visitors gain insight into the intricate craftsmanship and inspiration behind Tariku’s creations.

In addition to his design process, Tariku presents compelling data visualizations highlighting the underrepresentation of Black designers in mainstream design publications and institutions. These graphics serve as a poignant reminder of the need for greater inclusivity and representation within the design community.

Through his work, Tariku seeks to spark dialogue and raise awareness about the systemic barriers faced by Black designers in the industry. This show invites visitors to consider the broader implications of diversity in design and the importance of amplifying underrepresented voices.

The “Is Design a Global Language?” exhibition invites audiences to engage with Tariku’s research and reflect on the role of culture, identity, and representation in shaping our collective visual language.

Cody Gallery is a contemporary art space created as a platform to support the arts and strengthen the arts community at Marymount University and the greater Washington DC area. The gallery is operated by the School of Design + Art at Marymount. Location: 1000 N. Glebe Rd., 2nd Fl., Arlington, VA 22201. Learn more about Cody Gallery, including exhibition hours: marymount.edu/cody-gallery