I suspect that no matter who is picked, they’re asked and not forced to be the scale figure

Agree, and this is exactly what those who AREN’T underrepresented probably shouldn’t be making these choices. That how you end up with the “quota” or “token” decisions around this stuff. SketchUp isn’t a democracy, but it is created for the community.

Often times those that are underrepresented don’t feel like they can speak up because they’re not the majority often times. My motive here was to open the door open the door to conversation even more. Perhaps the scale figure is important, perhaps not… A lot of us are assuming it is… Maybe there are groups that want something totally different or have some entirely different interpretation of things…

So, again I’m trying to hold the door open here! :slight_smile:


Thinking about other software since Trimble’s subscription only announcement I stubbled across Blender (how could I miss it) and I find that I quite like the startup cube.

Of course I can, like TIG, create my own cubed template…


I just had a great idea- how about SketchUp create a character generator (like in some video games).
It could introduce a whole new demographic to SketchUp and future loyal customer base.
Here’s a couple photoshopped images I quickly did. I’m sure the experts at SketchUp can do a lot more but it’s just a few rough ideas


@colin, you should also have one with you holding a snooker cue.

You should save back to V6… :crazy_face:

That made me laugh. I could absolutely picture the law of unintended consequences kicking in.

Hamlet famously said:

Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour’s at the stake

Can’t help feeling, especially in the light of recent world events, that we may be dealing with a “straw” here.


Or you could just create your own if an abstract scale figure makes you feel uncomfortable due to it’s skin tone.
I don’t know what you specifically use SketchUp for but I personally use it professionally and recreationally. When I play video games, sure it’s nice to have diverse customisation to character models built in.
When I’m working in SketchUp, I’m focused on making the software do what I need it to do in order to create what I need/want to create.
Are you that caught up in virtue signaling that you honestly believe that a creative mind would be put off or discouraged purely because an abstract scale figure doesn’t match their skin tone?
If diversity within SketchUp users is your issue, I would suggest campaigning for more meaningful and helpful pursuits such as endeavoring to provide access to SketchUp for people across the globe who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity or resources.
I recognise that in your mind you are doing an honorable thing, given the current climate more people are feeling they need to do their bit to help bring about the change that we all need. I would urge you to continue but in stead of trying to create issues for you to solve… please look to tangible issue that could benefit from your vigorous efforts.


I think I’ll settle for a WireFrame model as a scale figure from now on.
(Wo)man! … what a straw!


Allow me to quote myself here… :slight_smile:


@El-Wobbo Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

"Campaigning for more meaningful and helpful pursuits
… look to tangible issue …"

  • being given the ability to pursue a great education and skills , live in a good neighborhood, make good money, work for an amazing company- I feel these ARE tangible.

Let’s try and put it in a way that would make you open your mind. Using a completely different company, lets say—>
This different company had a chance to showcase their best, brightest, and most passionate employees, year after year after year, and all of them were men. By your logic, you’re saying a woman should never be discouraged or complain because, that’s just who the company hired?


Optics are important.

The entire point is to be SEEN.

The entire point is for all companies and ALL institutions to welcome more Black artists and designers to the community by proactively representing them in professional spaces such as design software like SketchUp.

Let’s SEE Black men and women in architecture and design firms.

Let’s SEE Black men and women in our showrooms, galleries, group shows, trade shows, design fairs, magazines, design centers, online retailers, platforms and private collections!

The whole point of representation is to see oneself. To see oneself as a professional in any field.

Since the scale models are based on actual team members then choose a Black person!

…Unless there are none working there which reflects a much larger issue of systemic racial bias and the importance of a diverse workplace. This is often IGNORED BY THOSE WITH THE PRIVILEGE TO NOT SEE IT.

So YES, in 2020 and in the midst of a racial revolution in this country and around the world, this is the perfect opportunity for any platform to PROACTIVELY diversify and include and promote Black people in the design world.


Honestly, if I worked at such company and was appointed employee of the year or the like for happening to be the “right” gender, I would not be comfortable. That said I would probably prefer another company to begin with if every single employee of the year was a guy. Representation is important but when these are actual people it’s not as easy as just picking a person based on what group they happen to belong to.

There are black people working at SketchUp. It feels weird to namedrop someone and assign them a race (could be a cultural thing as I’m Swedish) but at the last SketchUp event I attended I spoke with a African American guy (not sure if developer or QA). There are also a few people from India (I think one has darker skin than the African American guy I met, but not sure if that would make him classify as black by US standard). That said the percentage of black people at SketchUp is likely lower than the percentage among the (Colorado) population due to inequalities in wealth and education.

It takes decades (if not centuries, sadly) for societies to balance out all inequalities in educational opportunities. That’s why these discussions are important not only to spread good intentions but also to start putting steps into practice, the sooner the better.

Staff composition just mirrors the status quo.

Maybe then using famous designers, architects, engineers (etc.) gives a much larger pool for making a diverse and balanced choice, and it gives inspiration and idols for young users to follow (think about SketchUp for Schools). SketchUp for Schools could be a first place to experiment with a new template experience customized for the audience (since it is loaded/updated from the cloud every time).


I’m sure SketchUp doesn’t only hire locals though. - Especially for talented and skilled individuals like the ones they would showcase in each version with a default character! They hire from all around and those people would probably choose to relocate to Denver once hired. (Im guessing)

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It depends on who applies. Usually it’s people who live near the employer.

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When I did a video interview with SketchUp from Brooklyn at the end of 2017, it went well, but they did go with the other lead contender, who happened to live in Boulder.

They came back to me a year later, and I did move from NYC to Boulder. Trimble don’t offer any money to help with such a move, and 2019 was an expensive year for me!

Trimble, and SketchUp, are good when it comes to hiring people based on skills and not other factors. I benefitted from that, in that I am more senior than your typical new hire.




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@Bxsaldana, I was thinking of that too, how lucky @colin was to get out of NY in time.

just curious when you wrote “hiring people by skills and not other factors” - what other factors are you talking about ?

In my case I was using age as an example, but the list is a bit longer than that. Here is what Trimble state:

“The company is committed to equal opportunity employment and non-discrimination. All employment decisions, including hiring, promotion, transfer, corrective action, termination, and compensation, will be made without regard to race, color, religion, age (40 and over), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital or veteran status, legally protected medical condition, physical or mental disability, genetic information or characteristics, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law.”