“What power lies in an image?” asked Rose Florian and Kordae Henry, creative directors of Just Nøt The Same. “If we’re pretending that image is a representation of reality, either that of the present or that of an idealized future, then that image has the power to inspire us, limit us, lift us and oppress us; it has the power to shape not only how we see ourselves in the present, but to define the limits of what we can reach in the future.”
Their message is pretty clear. By allowing students and firms to freely place people of color in their projects, those minorities can be adequately acknowledged in architectural imagery. The demographic of the design world often allows these characters to go absent in imagery, making Just Nøt The Same a refreshing take on the issue.
Cut-out people databases such as Skalgubbar.se have risen to fame in recent times and rightly so given their enormous variety of people, of all ages, performing many tasks. However, since Skalgubbar is a Swedish company/database, demographics can be skewed against certain minorities.
So strongly did Rose Florian and Kordae Henry feel that this was the case that they compiled a database of just those minorities (in the world of design imagery at least). “Just Nøt The Same is an effort to expand our visual understanding of both this existing and idealized reality,” they go on to say. “If architects are seeking to design an experiential and functional world that real people live in, then we believe we must learn to visualize the world as it is and embrace that this is the world that we need. Visibility and visualization is just one step.”
In their eyes, the database allows those in the creative industry to portray a more accurate and realistic view of the world they are designing for. They emphatically conclude: “We are not just seeking to provide a service; we are here to evolve the practice.”