Following last week’s news of the Peace Oil project, aimed at promoting peace in the Middle East, what scope exists to use design as an instrument of socio-political change?
As designers, our approach tends to be led by the client brief and market forces, but I believe that we are in a unique position. By sitting next to the client, we have a rare opportunity to extend their thinking. We can highlight design opportunities that make a real difference in society and also gives the client an advantage in the market. Any designer who isn’t willing to take that opportunity should ask themselves why.
John Corcoran, Founder, Wire Design (pictured)
One of the most powerful examples of great design being used to make a socio-political statement is Zed Nelson’s book Gun Nation. Fantastic black-and-white photography, combined with outstanding typography and layout, provide the platform for an understated but very powerful protest against the gun lobby in America. If nothing else, greatdesign is the very best way to communicate a message that might help to change the way people think.
Callum Lumsden, Founder, Lumsden Design Partnership
Design needs to be brave and help dispel the untruths that all sides in the Middle East exploit. Subtle marketing initiatives are great, but I would rather see a more direct and forceful approach from designers.
Domenic Lippa, Partner, Lippa Pearce
I have great admiration for what Pearce Marchbank has done. But knowing as I do, coming from an Irish Catholic background, that when territory and opposing religions come into play it is a frightening and unstoppable force. If the combination of graphic design and the collaboration of opposing sides could work in this way it would be a wonderful world, alas.
Mike Dempsey, Chairman, CDT Design
The thing to remember is the incredibly powerful influence designers could wield over their vast audience. Design touches us everywhere. Good designers can help inform and provide consumers with options that can lead to big changes. This is the legacy of great design.
Sophie Thomas, Founder, Thomas Matthews (pictured)