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Jun 29, 2020

Cultural Competency Panel

Rahul Bhogal RGD

About this video


A discussion focused on how designers are working with Indigenous and minority communities to produce work that is relevant, authentic and culturally aware.
Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think it means to be culturally competent?
2. Why is being culturally competent important for designers?
3. In what ways have you benefited from being more culturally competent as a designer?
4. How has the inherent bias of the design field to favor "Western minimalism" impacted your work?
5. Do you think technology helps or hinders designers ability to work with cultures outside of their own?
6. What is some advice you have for designers who are looking to work with a culture they might not be familiar with?


Rahul Bhogal RGD, Founder/Designer at Nothing Design Studio
Rahul is an award-winning graphic designer working in the fields of brand identity and digital design. His work can be seen in Applied Arts Mag, Logo Lounge 11, Win Out Mag, and the Best Brand Awards, including Best Brand North America. With over a decade of industry experience, he has worked with notable brands like Snap Inc, UCLA, Saint-Gobain, autoTrader, CanLan Ice Sports, and Telus. He focuses on idea-driven strategy and design to create advance timeless identities for clients across the globe.

Alain Giroux, Manager of Creative Services at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Alain is a Métis from the Ottawa region (mix of French, Algonquin and Huron) and is currently the Manager of Creative Services at Indigenous Services Canada, also serving as Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. Alain started his design career in 1999 both in the private sector and for the government and has been in this department for 15 years. He has worked on many design projects for First Nations, Inuit and Métis services and programs delivered by the government. He is also an artist doing abstract art and a musician that plays the drums and composes electronic music.

Mark Rutledge RGD

Mark has over 25 years of design experience combined with an intimate understanding of the creative process. Animikii is a digital agency that builds custom software, web-applications and websites. As the Lead Designer, he works with leading Indigenous groups across North America by leveraging technology for social, economic and cultural initiatives. As a 100% Indigenous-owned technology company he works with clients to implement solutions that amplify these efforts and achieve better outcomes for Indigenous people in these areas. Animikii is based in British Columbia on Coast Salish territory.

Moderator: Jennifer Taback RGD, Principal at Design de Plume

Rahul Bhogal RGD

Nothing Design Studio

Rahul is a Toronto-based designer with over 15 years of industry experience. He is certified RGD, sits on the Registered Graphic Designer evaluation committee, and is a Board Director for the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada.

In 2016, Rahul decided to break free from the corporate world to start his design practice, aptly named NOTHING.

He has since had the privilege to collaborate with clients from around the world, spanning startups to iconic heritage companies. He’s partnered with brands like Lindt & Sprüngli, Canada Post, Healthline, Snap Inc, UCLA, University of Toronto, and Church+State. His work is recognized by The Dieline, Applied Arts Mag, Communication Arts, Awwwards, CSSDA, and Monotype, to name a few.

Rahul is also an aspiring storyteller. He's appeared as a guest speaker on The Quickie podcast, left his mark in the halls of Parliament with his poster design for Sikh Heritage Month, and, in 2023, successfully navigated his first speaking engagement at The First Round conference by The Brand New.

Rahul's unique perspective allows him to find beauty in every corner of life. With his playful creativity and genuine curiosity, he's dedicated to crafting work that stands as a testament to his passion and professionalism.