lunes, 9 de julio de 2007

Design is not enough

"What we want to create are situations where you talk to people who talk back. Situations where the ears are as important as the eyes, where the written word and the image get left behind in the conversation. And so we have a central idea, which is: RESPONSE-ABILITY.

What we're talking about are social situations where people with a particular skill, a particular passion or professional ability - whether it's photography, art, writing, graphic design, music or poetry - can fit into a movement of collaborative expression in such a way that they add something without dominating, and without distorting the process. This kind of movement takes you beyond any "designer identity" - when it really works it can spread in all directions, open up new spaces in institutions, even make it possible to change your relations at work, with clients, in university situations and so on. It's a way to get outside the straightjacket of being a wage-earer and a citizen-consumer. But for people with specific skills of graphic designers, it involves a real responsibility. Because designers have an important role to play in social movements, which is the role of making the goals of group activity visible, precisely in a way that encourages the continuation of the process.

Design in an activist group or a social movement is always going to be a matter of tactics, which means working from a position of weakness, where you don't have the keys to all the doors and you can't make strategic plans with an overarching view. It means improvising, finding the unexpected materials and expressions that can help release a power of collaboration going far beyond the objects you can imagine and make.

Design in these situations is a success when the designer disappears and the user takes over. That's how design tactics can have a social impact, without all the resources and strategies of governments or big corporations.

So what's at the bottom of all this? Why do some crazy people spend all their free time doing something they'll never get paid for and where they even tend to disappear, not as individuals but as stars and signatures?

The thing is that it can change your life. It can teach you what responsibility means, get you out of your cocoon and into situations of social cooperation and confrontation. That's what we mean by politically engaged graphic design, or that's the beginning of the story anyway."

We apoligize, we don't remember who wrote this!

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