No 7 - Design’s Social Pledge, 29th of May, 2013
29th of May, 2013
15:00 - 16:30
‘We've all been there: it's another late night in the studio, and you've got hours of pixel-pushing and deck-polishing ahead. Your social life, if it exists, is under duress. The cramp in your mousing hand makes you wonder if it really is time to see that doctor. Meanwhile your mind wanders from the task at hand to what you can do—what you can change about your "situation"—to close the gap between the seeming pointlessness of how you earn your living and the realization that your time and energy could be better spent doing something (anything!) more meaningful. Like your brother who joined the Peace Corps in India. Or the industrial designer you read about who designed a new clean water system for a village in Tanzania. The architect who took a 6-month leave of absence from his job to build relief housing in Haiti.’
This is the introduction paragraph of ‘Why We Need a New and Hyper-Local Model for Design Activism’ by American designer Julie Kim on the popular design blog Core77. In the text she further expands on design’s influence in developing countries and the following surge in available money for such programs. She composes an argument on why designer should shift focus and found social projects closer to home. Kim closes her article with a handsome list of tools that designers could use to make their presence felt in their own local societies and support local initiatives to change the world for the better. Is activism in design a spoof, or can designers really make a difference?
29th of May
The debate is moderated by: Ryan Pescatore Frisk
About the speakers
Pink Pony Express
Lotte van Laatum
moderator: Ryan Pescatore Frisk
Pink Pony Express is an international, interdisciplinary research and design collective, with four members. They work in areas experiencing (political or economic) crisis, or in transition. Pink Pony Express makes nothing new, but they reveal existing social networks by visualizing them in public space. Their installations are a visual interpretation of the situation – and can be a catalyst for a new kind of discussion.
Heather Daam is a designer who works with people. She has learned to believe in different disciplines sharing knowledge towards a common goal, and in empowering people as experts of their own experience. Her interest is to understand the role a designer plays in involving different people and stakeholders into the design process. Her strengths include leading workshops, encouraging people to think together, and visualizing concepts.
Lotte van Laatum works as an independent designer. In 2001 she graduated Cum Laude at Industrial Product Design at The Hague University. After travelling in Asia for a year she started her MA Man & Humanity at Design Academy Eindhoven. She is specialized in the social-cultural and ecological aspects of design. Currently Lotte works on the development of her own interior label. Next to that she works on a project base for different companies and organisations. Her work can be seen in different (international) galleries and museums.
Ryan Pescatore Frisk is a designer+. He is interested in the intersection of culture, identity and representation coupled with the influences of technology and social interaction. Ryan received a BA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, an MA in Graphic Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art and an MA in Typography and Type Design from the KABK. Since 2001 he has been a partner of Strange Attractors Design, an international studio, which creates innovative ideas and solutions to influence culture and commerce.