Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
66 Fifth Ave
Parsons School of Design

(under)REPRESENT(ed) is an exhibition that features Parsons alumni of color whose creative practices explore the lived experience of race and aim to dismantle systems of racism.

Ken Tanabe, MFA Design and Technology ’04

Ken Tanabe is a multidisciplinary creative director whose professional practice unifies design specialties, technical disciplines, educational spaces, social change, and public engagement with diverse audiences. His eighteen years of creative experience includes work for Google, Beyoncé, and Emmy-winning studio Imaginary Forces. He has fourteen years of teaching experience at Parsons School of Design, where he received the Distinguished University Teaching Award. He is the founder of Loving Day, a design-driven social change project that is celebrated in dozens of cities as the world’s largest network of multicultural community celebrations. His work in design and social change has led to over eighty public speaking engagements at places like the Global PR Summit and the HOW Design Conference. Ken Tanabe and his work have been featured by CNN, NPR, BBC World, Print, Fast Company, and many others.

Loving Day

Ken Tanabe, MFA Design and Technology ’04
Video and Official Proclamation from the Mayor of New York honoring Loving Day

Loving Day is named after Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws against interracial marriage and relationships in the U.S. The project encourages everyone to commemorate the June 12th anniversary of the decision as Loving Day. It has grown from a Parsons MFA thesis in the Design & Technology program to the world's largest network of multiethnic community celebrations. These celebrations range from backyard barbecues to large public festivals. Many couples have chosen to get married on Loving Day. On June 12th, 2017, #lovingday was the #3 trending hashtag on twitter in the U.S. But at its heart, Loving Day was created as a tradition to unite diverse families and individuals who share a common yet rarely acknowledged experience. Video by Craig Nisperos.

How would you describe your day to day job and/or artistic practice?

Multidisciplinary creative director, community organizer, public speaker, Part-time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design.

Would you describe your career path as typical? Why or why not?

Definitely not typical. Loving Day was a key part of expanding my design practice from creating visuals to crafting experiences.

In what ways have your identities impacted your education and career paths?

My personal Belgian/Japanese/American identity led me to create Loving Day.

Posted in Artists.