Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

August 24, 2020 | 9:18 am

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation was founded on the idea that design is for everyone. While our home is in the College of Engineering, Jacobs is a multidisciplinary space, open to all regardless of their background, department affiliation, or experience level. We believe that everyone who walks through our doors adds to the unique conversation about the possibility of design and technology, helping enrich the future of both and that pivotal design can only stem from a collaboration of diverse voices and perspectives.


As an Institute that is part of a larger campus community dedicated to bringing together some of the most forward-thinking minds in academia, it is of the utmost importance that all who participate in our space feel not just included and safe, but know their ideas and voices will be upheld and supported by the Jacobs Community. Our staff and faculty are dedicated to upholding these principles and know it is their personal responsibility, as well as the Institute’s, to continuously educate themselves on racism, anti-blackness, gender inequality, ableism, and other forms of discrimination, and to work towards creating a space where all feel validated and welcome. We also acknowledge our responsibility for fostering an educational environment and culture that holds our students accountable to these same standards, and are continuing to open up opportunities for students and club leaders to share feedback on the ways Jacobs can continue to foster positive group participation.

We recognize this as an ongoing process—one that requires frequent and critical dialogue on the many ways we can improve diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the Jacobs Institute’s community and operations.


We would also like to recognize, in solidarity with the messaging from campus, co-authored with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and Native American Student Development, that the Jacobs Institute sits on the territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chocenyo speaking Ohlone people.



In Spring 2024, the Jacobs Institute DEI Committee (est. 2019) was reorganized as the Jacobs DEI Working Group to include student representation from the Jacobs Institute Student Advisory Board and the Berkeley MDes Student Association. The Working Group’s charge is to monitor and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Institute’s community, programs, and operations, in collaboration with our community of students, staff, and faculty.

The Working Group meets bi-monthly, and it’s current membership includes:


  • Professor Kosa Gouchert-Lambert is teaching a new course in Spring 2024, Design, Equity and Justice (DESINV 290). This special topics course invites graduate students at the Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation to collaboratively shape the curriculum for a new, regularly offered, DEI in Design course. Through a co-creative process, students are engaging in explorations of key themes such as ethical foundations in design, power dynamics, and the influence of technology on bias in design processes.
  • The Jacobs Engineering Design Scholar program, launched Summer of 2020, is renewed for Summer 2024 with an expanded opportunity to serve 8 undergraduates. This paid summer research program focuses on providing research experience and mentorship to undergraduates with a demonstrated interest in design engineering research and commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.
  • Jacobs Project Support (JPS) will continue to offer remote printing services for all students and campus affiliates who wish to participate in our Makerspace.


  • Providing more resources for instructors and students to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in courses.
  • Providing students more direct opportunities for influencing policy decisions of the Institute.



Here is an ongoing list of articles, books, and podcasts centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion in design.

Articles, blog posts, and programming authored at Jacobs:


Here are some fast-facts about the student diversity at Jacobs Hall, based on the student enrollment in our DES INV courses and the number of Maker Pass holders and JPS users:

Design Courses (DES INV) & DeCals JPS & Maker Pass Users
693 students in DES INV courses and DeCals 865 JPS & Maker Pass users
63% identify as women 41% identify as women
2% are Black 2% are Black
10% are Chicanx + Latinx 17% are Chicanx + Latinx
21% are International Students 19% are International Students
Disciplinary Diversity:
31% from Engineering
46% from Letters & Sciences
5% from Environmental Design
18% Other
Disciplinary Diversity:
67% from Engineering
12% from Letters & Sciences
6% from Environmental Design
15% Other

For comparison, please consult the data from UC Berkeley and the College of Engineering.


If you would like to provide feedback about the ways we can continue to make Jacobs an inclusive environment, or if you’d like to share a personal experience, please use this form. All submitted comments are reviewed by the Jacobs DEI Committee. The form is anonymous except if someone chooses to leave their contact information.