Mr. Anton Blewett
Anton supports large districts implement design and planning with a racial equity lens and a disability equity lens. Working in Sacramento, Austin, and Boston, he co-designed and co-led equity-based planning projects that start with listening to currently and historically underserved communities and center their voices and expertise throughout the design process. In Austin, the work led to design strategies that were entirely community-based and design documents that were developed and owned by community partners. The resulting projects will move the district towards providing historically underserved students and families with the conditions they need to be successful.
Anton supports equity-based design projects by bringing together the qualitative data of lived experience with design research. He has facilitated one-on-one interviews and focus groups with Black and Brown students, students with disabilities, students accessing special education, students identified economically disadvantaged, emerging bilingual students, newcomers, and their caregivers, families, and teachers. He has conducted root cause workshops with district leadership, staff, and community partners on the problems identified during listening campaigns. He has facilitated co-design workshops with communities that reimagine strategies that will actually work to address the identified root causes.
Working this way stems from his past participation in and self-reflection on community outreach and engagement in traditional design processes, and how they cause harm to historically underserved communities by not disrupting inequities and by often contributing to them. He facilitates internal workshops and discussion to support district and design staff new to racial equity work. He has co-led training for the design industry and his firm on how to practice equity-based design. His openness and advocacy have helped rebuild trust and develop working partnerships between community partners with district leadership.
Before focusing on equity-based community outreach and engagement, Anton designed innovative learning environments in the Pacific Northwest and co-led DLR Group’s Educational Research and Design Studio.