The design industry is part of ’empire building’

‘I agree with Richard Murray when he says that global brands diminish cultural diversity (DW 21 July). What a shame, then, that his attempt at providing any sort of solution came down to a “fingers crossed” approach of faith in human nature!

Despite acknowledging some design companies have been quite happy to accept their money, he suggests it is the “empire builders” (managing directors, executives) who need to re-think. May I point out, as active players in the global brand creation process, the design industry is very much part of the empire building, not just a passive observer.

There are no magic solutions to debates like this, but challenges and suggestions can be made at all levels. Victor Papanek’s work, No Logo by Naomi Klein, the First Things First campaign or the Adbusters organisation are just a few sources of information for wider debates on how design, advertising and marketing can affect society.

There are also many mainstream books and articles extolling the “power of design” – I suggest designers exert some of this power in a more radical and proactive way before they sit back and blame others for a lack of global diversity.

Lynne Elvins

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