miércoles, 6 de octubre de 2010

More. Design for change

The theme of the relationship between reality and representation, beyond the philosophical problem, has become one of the most pressing within the context of visual communication, with the disappearance, says Baudrillard, of reality itself. Communicative inflation has bewildered the power of choice and, ultimately, the ability to understand what we perceive, making traditional oppositions such as true/ false, objective/subjective obsolete. It’s a visual inflation which is mainly caused by advertising, which, in our city, has taken almost exclusive control of public space… There is no doubt that it is a captivating language and communicative syntax and, ultimately, welcomed by those who have an institutional responsibility to inform the public.

However, the seductive language of advertising is unable to represent the complexity of reality and fact. As a “new mythology” (R. Barthes) it creates its own dimension, based on the logical elements of its syntax, which is devastating when, like today, it happens that they are increasingly applied to the political dialect: simplification, distortion and radicalization. To have the democratic processes of our society at heart means to implement any attempt to restore the civic space for communication of “public utility” as public design is called in Italy, beyond the mainstream channels of information. Even without possessing television channels, the judicious use of old and new technology, in the present day, enables us to design activism, to provide citizens with opportunities, to discuss and participate in experimental ways.

The project
During the coming Festival della Creatività, which will be held in Florence, 21-24 October 2010, the cultural association FFF, in collaboration with Socialdesignzine and endorsed by the Italian association of graphic designers (AIAP), proposes the project “Più. Design per il cambiamento / More. Design for change”, an infosphere of graphic communication in the former Florentine prison, Le Murate. The event will take a participatory approach, both in the definition of content and their fruition, and it will present itself as a platform of multi-modal content.

On the topic “More. Freedom of expression” some renowned graphic designers will be asked to produce a project. These graphic projects will be realised in the form of 6x3 meter billboards, which will be posted daily on a made-to-measure structure in the inner square of the former prison, as a type of continual happening.

The idea of utilizing the billboard format, traditionally used for advertising, to promote social and political issues is already a practice employed by organizations and militant groups of design activism. However, today we are able to add more depth to the content. Therefore, along with the graphic design of the posters, the authors will prepare additional information, to reinforce and deepen their chosen subjects, using texts, iconography, links, videos, 3D animations, etc. As a whole, the information will form the virtual cognitive infosphere that surrounds the posters. Visitors can browse the information through an environment of Augmented Reality (using a smart phone), but also through normal web channels.

The Augmented Reality environment will allow:
the view through a smartphone camera (iPhone or Android) of the virtual markers placed on the billboard with additional information on the project and the authors (texts, photos, video) superimposed in a real-time video stream. the personal addition of comments and photos, creating a “social cloud” around the billboard. to receive information about the program and georeferenced information about the area.

“Più. Design per il cambiamento / More. Design for change”, is an unprecedented experimental communication project, to highlight the potential of graphic design in providing platforms for the dialogue necessary to maintain the critical spirit, which is essential in any democratic society. Visitors will be able to contribute their own material and ideas to the realization of the project even after the Festival has finished. The publication of a volume which collects all the material produced during the project is planned.

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Majid Abbasi
Jonathan Barnbrook
Rico Lins
Yossi Lemel
Alain Le Quernec
Chaz Maviyane-Davies
Armando Milani
Andrea Rauch
Gianni Sinni
Un Mundo Feliz
Via Grafik
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October 21-24, 2010
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Associazione culturale FFF
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