Frank Gehry, Billie Tsien and More Are Auctioning Works for Racial Justice

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Denise Scott Brown, Las Vegas, 1966
Exclusive Las Vegas Photograph Prints [signed and framed] by Denise Scott BrownDonated by Denise Scott Brown

Money raised from the Design Yard Sale will go to two non-profit organisations fighting systemic anti-Black racism: The Bail Project and Colloqate Design

Design and architecture fans have a rare chance to purchase one-of-a-kind works by some of the best known names in the field, thanks a new auction – raising money for racial justice charities in the United States – which has just been launched. Comprising works by the likes of Frank Gehry, Billie Tsien, and Denise Scott Brown, with Herzog & de Meuron, Farshid Moussavi, AMO/Rem Koolhaas and others joining in a further auction next week, money raised from the Design Yard Sale will go to two essential charities fighting systemic anti-Black racism: The Bail Project and Colloqate Design. The latter specifically focuses on ‘design justice’, “expanding community access to, and building power through, the design of social, civic, and cultural spaces” – particularly crucial in a space long dominated by white men.

Highlights of the first week’s auction include the blueprints for Robert Venturi’s iconic Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, collages by Tsien, signed prints of Scott Brown’s 1960s-era photographs of Las Vegas, a concrete stool by Jerome Byron, and a limited-edition lithograph of a drawing by Gehry. The auction – which runs until Saturday on eBay – is being run as part of Design Yard Sale, an inititative begun by students and alumni of Harvard Graduate School of Design to raise funds for the Bail Project and Colloqate Design (auctions and a pop-up store on their website have already raised over $50,000). It is not just about raising funds, though – Design Yard Sale was also founded to raise questions about the vast racial inequalities within the design and architecture industries.

“This student-led initiative clearly acknowledges that racism cannot simply be fixed through design alone but through how and where we choose to spend our money,” said Byron. “Even the selection of charitable organisations points to a fundamental understanding that in order to combat systemic racism you have to disrupt the flow of cash to institutions that promote inequality and diminish the voices of the most vulnerable.”

Visit Design Yard Sale’s auction page or follow them on Instagram for updates on future auctions.