viernes, 31 de octubre de 2008

Designers are crazy with Obama

Connect with creative Obama supporters:

Design for Obama: Design/ers for Obama will introduce new tools and opportunities to web-powered grass roots organizing that has already revolutionized campaigning.
30 Reasons: 30 designers, 30 posters, 30 reason to vote for Obama. make a video, write a song, take a photo, or paint a mural about
Obama Art Report: good blog keeping an eye on the "Obama art scene". think Spell with Flickr but for Obama.
Not Another C Student: Downloadable stickers, posters and t-shirts. "Let mediocrity speak for itself!"
YesWeCarve: download, carve and share your Barack O' Lantern!

jueves, 30 de octubre de 2008

Design Ethics

Communication Design and all of its designers have the ability, intelligence and mindset to make the greatest impact to the world’s biggest challenges. This group intends to share design-focused resources, and offer an observational voice on Visual Communication and Design Ethics.

With enthusiasm for creative intelligence, education and design-led innovation, this group is heavily influenced by the growing recognition for socially and ethically conscious design and aims to integrate predictions of our future society, with design research and observational comment. If you have any socially conscious designs, observations or events - please add your images!

Kate Andrews.

Kate Andrews is a designer, writer and researcher based just north of London. Educated at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, she holds a First Class Honours in Graphic Design and a Merit Award from The International Society of Typographic Designers. Since graduating, Kate has worked for The Sunday Times Magazine in London, Synectics Innovation Consultancy, has exhibited at Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida and continues to write for a number of design platforms including;, Design21, ThinkPublic, Design Sessions and In 2006, Kate founded the design blog Anamorphosis, to act as a platform to catalog her search for new examples of forward-thinking Visual Communication. Anamorphosis continues to act as a creative platform, through which she continues to mentor under- and post-graduate Graphic Design students. As a designer, Kate is passionate for the power that Visual Communication has to impact social change and in October 2008 will start the MA Design Writing Criticism course at London College of Communication.

martes, 28 de octubre de 2008

Better x Design

Call it social design, sustainable design, appropriate technology. We are exploring how design thinking can fuel technological innovations that benefit humanity and the planet.

Better x Design is a collaborative initiative at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design to practice globally conscious design, research it in an academic way, and spread its influence across the globe. We are an amalgamation of ideas, projects, student groups, and faculty researchers in search of opportunities not just to design and build, but to design, build, implement, follow up, and measure. With developed venues for action, a process for implementation, and material and immaterial capital, we are creating social change through the combined power of creativity, technology, and design.

This blog is not simply a catalog of our efforts, but a recognition that we are but a small part of a larger global movement. We will discuss topics such as appropriate technology, bottom of the pyramid strategy, alternative energy, anthropological research, global development, urban growth, public policy, transportation, environmentalism, information technology, and branding+communication. All of this requires designing in some fashion, and we invite you to join us in exploring how we can harness the power of design to make all of these things better.

Project H Design (Anti)Manifesto

A Call To Action For Humanitarian (Product) Design
By Emily Pilloton
Written April 2008, Published on Core77

I think we can all agree that manifestos are over-written and under-executed. So call this a rant or a pep talk, a sermon if that’s your cup of tea, or maybe most appropriately, a call to arms.

Here’s the rose-colored glasses version: We need the design world (particularly industrial design) to stop talking big and start doing good; to put the problem-solving skills on which we pride ourselves to work on some of the biggest global issues; to design for health, poverty, homelessness, education, and more.

And here’s the brass tacks reality: We need to challenge the design world to take the “product” out of product design for a second and deliver results and impact rather than form and function; to reconsider who our clients really are; to turn our tightly-cinched consumer business models and luxury aesthetics on their heads; to get over “going green;” and to enlist a new generation of design activists. We need big hearts, bigger business sense, and even bigger balls.

Taking the “product” out of product design
Unfortunately, the word “product” has become a hindrance to what we can really produce. We need to stop making things and start making impact. Our real goal should be to design the biggest impact with the least amount of product. What this means is going against every design instinct we have ever been taught. Let’s forget momentarily about form and function, and consider what we could deliver that isn’t defined by an object: catalysts and engagement.

A great way to make this distinction is by using a function vs. impact assessment. Take a hammer, for example. Its function is what it immediately provides: it drives a nail. Its short-range impact is what that function enables: it builds homes. And most importantly, its long-range impact is the context-based application of its function and short-range impact: it provides shelter to those who need it.

Separating function from impact is a critical step in the design process, encouraging us to look for consequences beyond the obvious, and grounding us in considerations beyond the often-irresistible distractions of form and function.

Learning from Appro-Tech
Appropriate technologies (appro-tech for short), is a field of engineering that produces solutions based on local technologies, materials, and contexts. As the name suggests, the focus here is on appropriate solutions for basic problems (power, water, healthcare)–where examples might range from wind turbines made from neighborhood manufacturing refuse in Guatemala to water reclamation systems made from scrap plastic and bike parts in India. Since there is no real “manufacturing,” appro-tech isn’t usually considered a viable design process, but that’s a shame.

Because appro-tech relies heavily on on-site, local assembly and materials, the design that goes into it is less material-driven and more results-driven. It is typically process-centered, and systemic. And perhaps most importantly, it turns end users into co-designers, making pride and participation key ingredients in the success of the object. Alan Jacobson, who spearheaded an inspiring environmental design project in Rwanda (part genocide memorial, part community arts initiative), talks about the “pride of creation” as an underutilized and underestimated tool in design, one that creates longer-lasting user relationships and a sense of ownership.

One of the finalists in last year’s INDEX Awards: Design to Improve Life competition, for example, was essentially a rubber cap. It was a simple object–no feat of engineering, and not even functional as an isolated product. But in developing communities, the cap can be attached to any aluminum soda can to create a sharps collector–a tightly sealed receptacle for the safe and proper disposal of hazardous medical waste. One part manufactured product, one part local material, and one part human interaction combine to create a product of undeniable value.

And here’s where appro-tech solutions have traditional product design beat: User engagement, local materiality, and context-sensitive assembly are built into the process. Appro-tech products don’t need to be full-service objects embedded with all the first-world technology; they can be systems rather than objects, requiring user participation and local expertise and production to make them functional, relevant, and economically viable.

The who of it
One could argue that design is only as good as its clients–the people and market that demand what we provide. So by shifting our client base, we’re shifting the nature of design. If all our clients are corporate, we’re only perpetuating the profit-driven machine. In order to move design toward a more humanitarian and global service-based industry, we’ve got to redefine our client base.

It’s not rocket science–if we’re using design to improve lives, let’s look to those who are suffering most, to the global citizens who have been under-represented and underserved by the design community. Let’s design for every person we’d never expect to have as a client at our drawing table–squatters living on $2 a day, the growing number of millions of people suffering from HIV/AIDS, post-disaster victims, the homeless, the handicapped, inner city children, prisoners, and more. Let’s recognize that clients do not mean “the people who are paying us,” but rather “the people whom we are serving.”

Let’s also recognize that our work for these clients is not charity or a handout (of course, good will is always part of the motivation), but that these under-represented clients are an integral part of our global future; that by designing viable, life-improving solutions, we are catalyzing economies, enabling a more productive world, and investing in the prosperity of posterity (our clients’ and our own).

Getting over going green
Environmental responsibility and innovative green materials are design imperatives, but it’s unnerving to see “green design” being discussed as a trend, particularly without the social dimensions of sustainability. I’ve been trying for years to spark a paradigm shift that builds off material sustainability towards a more social or human sustainability. We can design “green” all day long, but if all that results are more bamboo coffee tables for luxury markets, green design is destined to get a bad rap.

Indeed, one can hope that the term “green design” disappears in 5 years–not because design will no longer be green, but because it won’t need to be called out as a value add or as a particular distinction; all design will be green design. But let’s also imbue the next frontier in sustainability with compassion, where our ultimate judge of “goodness” is humanist rather than consumerist.

New business models
Even without an MBA, it’s not hard to see that current design is largely defined by (and constrained by) consumerism. Further, we’re led to believe that product designers will never make a decent living without big corporate clients. This isn’t true.

With analyses in recent years around the untapped “bottom of the pyramid” markets and the success of the microloan, it’s becoming clear that design practice can be just as profitable designing for masses of low-income clients as it can designing for a sliver of the very rich.

But there are different business models at play here, and there will be risk involved. Unfortunately, many humanitarian design solutions are designed for markets in which the end user cannot afford the end products. The target customer is not necessarily, and sometimes simply cannot be, the purchaser. Products designed for the BoP often have to be subsidized by grants or donations, and speaking as the founder of a non-profit, these are not financially sustainable models.

The celebrated Hippo Roller, which my organization, Project H Design, has supported and funded in South Africa, is a great example of enabling design. A rolling barrel-type water transportation device, it allows users to fetch 5 times the amount of water they could with traditional buckets and Gerri cans. The result is more free time–for school, business, personal healthcare, play. But each unit costs $100 to produce and deliver, which is close to 2 months’ income for most potential customers. To date, all hippo rollers in use have been subsidized by donations, corporate sponsorships, or private grants. What’s wrong with this picture?

We’ll have to apply our design creativity to push new business models–ones that deliver fundable and profitable solutions. Funding structures like micro-lending, community-lending, community profit and fund pooling, and cross-market distribution are possible strategies to more effectively put these design solutions into the hands of the people who need them most. And this requires the partnership of innovative business thinkers, who are now realizing that they need designers just as much as we are realizing we need them.

Design as the new microloan
The success of the microloan is compelling: by bridging first- and third- world economies, a $100 investment changes a life. That $100 might be a night out on the town to a New Yorker, but to a farmer in central Uganda, it’s a life-changing business loan.

What the microloan really provides is the capital to enable future prosperity and self-sufficiency. Design can provide that same capital–in the form of tools that bring efficiency, productivity, and yes, even wealth. If we as designers make wealth our end goal (not our own wealth, but the wealth of our clients and users), we become designers of capital instead of designers of things.

Most of us have heard of the MoneyMaker micro-irrigation pump–an appro-tech design success story that enables rural Kenyan farmers to pump water and harvest crops even in dry seasons. Aside from being highly functional, it’s a tool with direct financial results that catalyze economies. With 45,000 pumps currently in use by rural farmers, 29,000 new waged jobs have been created, and 37 million dollars a year in new profits have been reported.

I’d hate to say it’s all about the money, but for so many developing countries, it really is. The success of the microloan demonstrates a little going a long way. But design can precede (or even replace) the microloan by providing a tool instead of a check that brings enough income to catapult users into economic stability and community prosperity.

Activism over academics
I graduated from 6 years of design school, seesawing between two sentiments (in addition to the dread of paying off my student loans for decades). I was torn between the feeling of accomplishment of hard and gratifying work, and an uneasiness that none of my work or studios had any real social relevance. And I know that I’m not alone in this crisis-of-conscience.

The shameful part of this all-too-common story is that what students want to learn is often not what teachers are teaching. Student populations, as we all know, are communities of activism–one walk through a picket-sign-filled college will evidence this point. But that type of activism gets checked at the door of most design studios–a huge missed opportunity. Design is inherently political, subjective…even subversive. And most importantly, it’s at base an effective tool for solving problems big and small. In other words, it’s both a perfect arena for activism and an actual process for turning that activism into change.

Just as some architecture programs have design-build studios that teach hands-on, real production techniques with a real client, we need complementary industrial design programs that give the same type of human-centered opportunities, business partnerships, and real client relationships. Let’s teach passion and collaboration instead of fashion and ego-centric indulgence. Let’s make activism a design asset, putting aesthetics in the back seat for awhile.

Individual value shifts
And let’s not lose this kick-in-the-pants activism on graduation day. There are a slew of big ideas gaining momentum right now, but collective action often results from individual designers committing themselves as change agents. We each have to make the decision to reevaluate our priorities, and to wake up to the social impact of our design choices. This means considering clients wisely, communicating the societal ramifications of design to our them when they become our clients, and sometimes sacrificing profits to increase social well-being. It means being proactive, seeking out good work, and saturating the market with the values and ideas of progressive design. The human demand for good, life-improving design is there; let’s provide the supply to stimulate the business demand.

Design “ROTC”
We will have to be proactive about putting our design thinking to work as well. As I’ve seen first-hand, much of the aid in developing communities is charity without real design thinking. There are missionaries and engineers and health workers and teachers, all of whom are doing their part, but designers who step back, think rigorously and creatively about efficiencies, and find overlooked solutions are sorely underrepresented.

I’m challenging designers to commit to their own ROTC program–one weekend a month, 2 weeks out of the year–to apply design thought toward real design problems. We can do this locally or globally–design is a tool as much needed in Uganda as it is at urban homeless shelters. And I’m not talking about clocking community service hours, serving soup or cleaning up beaches. I’m talking about doing what we do best, solving problems–in places that desperately need better human-based solutions.

Putting the ‘H’ in design
“Design is a hammer,” I like to say, recalling the function vs. impact assessment example earlier, and arguing that it’s not about what the tool does so much as what it enables. I like the term “enabling design” because it’s an action and a descriptor. Let’s create impactful design that enables lives, and in so doing, enable the design industry to carry more positive weight.

The H in Project H Design refers to “Product design initiatives for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness.” But you’ll notice that Humanity comes first.

lunes, 27 de octubre de 2008

Design for Democracy

An African Style
by Wendy MacNaughton

In late 2000, Wendy was offered the opportunity to create the national civic sensitization campaign for the first democratic local elections in Rwanda. The purpose of the campaign was to educate citizens (est. 8 million) about the purpose and importance of voting, teach people to use a secret ballot, and motivate everyone to participate. The campaign had to communicate equally to literate and non-literate voters, and be extremely sensitive to ethnicity and ethnic, political and economic division.

Working with the National Electoral Commission of Rwanda and United States Agency for International Development I attempted to create a campaign that was culturally relevant, ethnically sensitive and easily understood, regardless of the viewerʼs level of literacy. The campaign consisted of three different mediums: posters, fliers and spray painted street graphics. With the help of cultural consultants and local businesses, I created a culturally appropriate concept, hand drew the graphics, supervised printing and organized national distribution of over 40,000 pieces of printed material.

The campaignʼs concept was simple. In Rwanda, most people sign official documents by stamping their thumbprint. With the introduction of the secret ballot, people would be using their thumbprints to cast their votes. I combined the image of an inked thumb with a “thumbs up” sign (which means the same thing in Rwanda as it does in the U.S.) and produced a graphic that read: voting is good. The NEC and I selected the word “Dutore” to complement the image. Translated to English, Dutore means “We Vote.” Two additional posters were created to visually communicate the process of using a secret ballot and the relevance of the local elections to peopleʼs daily life. These posters employed a comic book technique, as this was the most familiar and effective way to communicate a narrative and avoid visual references to ethnicity...

More info: design altruism project

Wendy MacNaughton is graduate of Art Center College and Columbia University and works at Underground in San Francisco.

sábado, 25 de octubre de 2008

Million dollars men

Barack Obama and John McCain have raised millions of dollars for their presidential campaigns. In GOOD’s second installment of Political NASCAR, we look at the uniforms the two candidates would wear if companies wanted to use their political donations as advertisements, and if running for president ended with the winner doing donuts on the White House lawn.

Good Votes: Assessing the Obama and McCain Donors by GOOD magazine

martes, 14 de octubre de 2008

Palin political poster project

John Doffing founder of START SOMA + START MOBILE says: Over the past few weeks, I have watched with the world the evolving spectacle that is Sarah Palin. Now, I have never been incredibly political, and in the spirit of full disclosure, in my wild and crazy younger days, I actually attended a $1000 a plate Bush fundraiser.

But over the past few weeks, I started to pay a little bit more attention. And what I saw made me more than a little nervous. Sarah Palin's supporters tell us that SHE IS JUST LIKE US. And this may well be true. But is this appropriate criteria for choosing the Potential Leader of the Free World? Personally, I want my leaders to be NOTHING like me - I want The Smartest + Most Experienced Candidates possible. And by ANY stretch of the imagination, Sara Palin is neither.

So we decided to do something about it. A few days ago, I emailed a few artist and designer friends and asked them if they could design some Sarah Palin political posters for global distribution via an online art gallery, and the first posters are available at Start Soma.

We have some pretty amazing PALIN POLITICAL POSTERS live already, and hope to receive a lot more in the weeks leading up to the election. Digital images from the Palin Political Poster Project are available for FREE distribution globally under a Creative Commons license, and high-resolution files of each poster are available for printing.

For better or worse, we live in a sound-bite culture, and I believe that the simple messages contained in the artwork we are featuring in the PALIN POLITICAL POSTER PROJECT can indeed have an impact. By leveraging available technologies, I am convinced that these simple messages can reach millions of people in short order - and maybe, just maybe, they can make a difference.

Esta imagen es un homenaje a Alain Le Quernec, en especial a su trabajo "Attention au début Hitler faisait rire" un cartel del año 1987 realizado por iniciativa de Bernard Poignant del partido socialista de Quimper. En nuestra opinión es posiblemente uno de los mejores diseños de la historia...
David, Brigitte "Alain Le Quernec: A thinking hand". Graphis. 13 Oct. 2008.

lunes, 13 de octubre de 2008


Carolina Cruz y Benito Rial Costas de Ombretta,etc. nos envían varias imágenes que reflexionan sobre el terrorismo.
Ombretta, etc es un estudio de diseño gráfico de Santiago de Compostela y Turín.

jueves, 9 de octubre de 2008

Hazlo tú mismo #2

Trobajo del Camino (León), sábado 4 de octubre de 2008. Pablo y Hugo invitan a todo el que pasa por allí a seleccionar e imprimir un cartel de 50x70 cm. utilizando 5 plantillas con imágenes de Pictopía. En la experiencia participaron más de 150 personas. Lo mejor de todo, conseguir llegar al corazón de los más pequeños.

Alain Le Quernec en YOUTUBE

Un documentaire cinglant sur le celebre affichiste Breton.

miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2008

eta / según el alfabeto griego

Joaquín Sáenz Rojo
Imágen contra el terrorismo

Según el alfabeto griego, "eta" es el adverbio de negación "no". 1. Expresa idea de rechazo. 2. Pacto de no agresión, acuerdo entre dos o más estados por el que se comprometen a no usar la fuerza y a resolver sus diferencias, mediante la negociación y el arbitraje.


Love Candy

Jennifer Ramos es una diseñadora con un estilo chic un tanto naif. Hace unos días nos preguntaba si podía utilizar alguno de nuestros iconos-calaberas... Nosotros le respondimos que sí. Bueno, a simple vista, su estilo y filosofía es muy distinta a la nuestra, sin embargo, como decía Quentin Crisp "todo aquel que dice la verdad es intereante". A continuación van unos textos de su web:

We call it Love Candy because the colors are reminiscent of candies & sweets and they deliver a message of LOVE to any home, its that simple. This cute piece of art is suitable for mounting in a dining area, office, bedroom or even a child's room! ALSO available in other colors! As seen in 'Life & Style Weekly Magazine'.

"Hi, I'm Jennifer Ramos, Owner and Designer of I originally started my business by embellishing different styles of furniture from Chippendale and Louis-style coffee tables to older antique pieces. My love for colors and patterns led me to attend school in Las Vegas to obtain a degree in Interior Design. However, I’m taking a small break from school to dedicate myself once again to my passion for being an entrepreneur. My coffee tables have all been limited edition pieces and some are still available by contacting me. For now, I'll be dedicating most of my time and efforts to the Paper Goods portion of my site."

"I love my job and creativity is everything to me. Hopefully, I can inspire & and encourage others to follow their dreams of becoming a business owner. In the meantime, I hope each of you will embrace the idea of going green as much as possible and motivate others to do the same. Global warming has become such a threat, and we need to change this. I believe we're all environmentalist, we all love beautiful sunny days and clean beaches, so we all have to be part of the solution. All my cards will be printed on recycled or post consumer paper, with the hopes of creating a positive change in others. The cards & posters I design are fun and colorful, because I LOVE color! It is the most personal and emotional element of design."

Digamos "BASTA"

Imágen de Nestor Ponce

El siglo XXI es apenas un niño de seis años; lo hemos recibido con fuegos de artificio, lo hemos visto, en vivo y en directo, llegar a Pekín, Madrid o Moscú; pero desde que el hombre es hombre, desde que irguió su espalda para ver el horizonte, hemos construido un agujero oscuro de odio e intolerancia, un agujero que se está devorando al mundo y a nuestra humanidad; la tuya, la mía, la de todos. Un agujero, cada vez más grande.

Este pequeño de seis años se asoma a la CNN para ver cómo Irak está en llamas, mientras el vaquero que la incendió se jacta de hacerlo y piensa hacer lo mismo con Irán, o Sierra Leona, o tu país; para ver como en África Subsahariana el 30% de la población esta infectada de VIH y los laboratorios se acercan sólo para hacer pruebas con sus nuevas y promisorias drogas; para ver cómo mueren en Latinoamérica millones de personas por el hambre, la contaminación, o el olvido; para ver como niños de su edad trabajan en Asia 18 horas diarias en las fábricas que proveen a las multinacionales; para ver cómo muere una persona por minuto a causa de un disparo de arma de fuego.

En el siglo XX nos sorprendíamos de la anticipación de Verne: el viaje a la luna, la vuelta al mundo; hoy son otras las profecías que se cumplen, la de Huxley con su mundo sintético y artificial, la de Orwell, que no pudo adivinar que todo comenzaría mucho antes de "1984".

Es mucho para el niño siglo, él se espanta, tapa sus ojos con sus manos, y nosotros lo miramos, sólo miramos. Digamos "BASTA", y que nuestra voz llegue a todos los rincones del planeta.

El Centro de Diseño de Rosario, Argentina, en forma conjunta con Trama Visual A.C. de México, y con la colaboración de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Concejo Deliberante de la ciudad de Rosario, convocó en 2007 a los diseñadores del mundo a decir "BASTA".

Pablo Kunst / Director CdD
Centro de Diseño / Rosario, Argentina / Trama Visual AC, México / Comisión de Derechos Humanos

40 años de silencio

Colectivo aliados 2.0 invita a todos los diseñadores a participar en la creación de un banco imagenes que refejen el sentir de la época como homenaje a las víctimas del 2 de octubre.

“Cuarenta años después de una de las matanzas más atroces de la historia de México, el gobierno mexicano sigue sin dar respuesta a las cuestiones que rodean aquella masacre perpetrada en Ciudad de México.” Amnistía Internacional México

Palestina y sus refugiados

Sábado 18 de octubre, 19h. charla-debate en el Centro Social Haydée Santamaría de Leganés con
Manuel Tapial miembro de la Asociación Cultura, Paz y Solidaridad Haydée Santamaría que entre los meses de junio y agosto ha convivido con los refugiados palestinos en Líbano.
Jaber Suleiman Profesor de Antropología y co-fundador de la ONG palestina AIDOUN.

Asociación Cultura, Paz y Solidaridad Haydee Santamaría
Centro Social Haydee Santamaria
Avda. Conde de Barcelona 17
28915 Valdepelayo - Leganes

La Asociación Cultura, Paz y Solidaridad Haydée Santamaría es un grupo de personas familiarizadas con el mundo del activismo en su más amplia expresión. A través de experiencias individuales y colectivas tratan de crear un intelecto colectivo que nos permita trabajar socialmente en la denuncia y mejora de las condiciones de vida de los menos favorecidos, prestando especial atención a los conflictos bélicos en sus causas y consecuencias. Sus hilos conductores son la guerra global, la cultura como medio de sensibilización, el encuentro de las personas fuera de los macrocentros de consumo y crear un espacio donde poder dar voz a aquellas causas o actividades que nos merecen especial atención.

La Asociación nace el año 1996 en Leganés (Madrid), en sus comienzos formada por sindicalistas y activistas sociales y culturales, con el propósito de abrir un espacio de encuentro, que posteriormente pasó a ser un punto de referencia en la zona sur de Madrid al ser el único en su ámbito de acción. Desde este espacio se ha dado voz al movimiento zapatista de México, al poder popular de la ciudad de La Habana, a los refugiados palestinos, a representantes iraquíes contra la ocupación de su país, a representantes de organizaciones de El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, etc. Además, desde el espacio que nuestra Asociación ha creado también han surgido proyectos como el Foro por la Memoria o el Festival Interpueblos.