Earlier this summer, Airbnb paired up with the media startup News Deeply on an installation called Shadow to Light for San Francisco Design Week. Guided by the festival’s theme, “Question Everything,” the two companies wanted to create a piece that would challenge visitors’ viewpoints and ask them to recognize implicit biases. But when Airbnb experience research manager Anne Diaz, who led the content development of the project, asked the News Deeply journalists how they report without bias, she was surprised to hear them say that they don’t. “Everyone has bias,” Diaz tells Co.Design. “The thing to do is to make sure you are recognizing that bias and talking to people with a range of perspectives—particularly people who disagree with the perspective or angle of the piece.”
The resulting installation—a multimedia project that told refugee stories through the possessions in their bags—sought to demonstrate that strategy for visitors of SF Design Week. But after the installation ended, Diaz and her design team wanted to continue to relate the journalistic approach to bias to design. Recently, Airbnb Design launched a “toolkit” for designers called Another Lens–the series of questions is meant to be used as a framework for designers at large to use in creating products and services that are inclusive and useful for most people.