‘Designers are pursuing their dreams by making the most of their freedom, with the discipline of professional designers and the resourcefulness of rebels and renegades. And we all stand to benefit,’ design critic Alice Rawsthorn said in a TED talk. Rawsthorn will speak at this years WDCD Mexico City, about how design can better the world.

Rawsthorn is an influential public speaker and critic on design, who has the ability to see clearly the relationship between design and society. She talked to Elle Decor about how she uses Instagram to share her knowledge, ‘So my aim was to use it to try and convince people to see design as I see it, not as a stereotypical styling device, but as this incredibly dynamic agent for change, that has the potential to affect our lives in all sorts of different ways.’

Choosing for Design
‘I began my career as a news journalist and foreign correspondent. I could have chosen to specify in any field, but I picked design. Because I believe it’s one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to improve quality of life,’ Rawsthorn says.

Having graduated in art history from Cambridge University, Alice Rawsthorn writes about design for the International New York Times and Frieze and has over 20 years with the Financial Times under her belt. She has also written the critically acclaimed books: Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and Design as an Attitude.

Hello World, 2012
Design as an Attitude, 2018

Design as an Attitude
‘So I think this is a fantastic time to be a design student or a young designer, because they have so many more opportunities than ever before,’ says Rawsthorn, ‘and that’s really the subtext of my new book, Design as an Attitude: design now plays such a dynamic role in so many different fields. Designers, thanks to fairly basic digital tools, can now operate independently to pursue their own objectives. They needn’t wait around for people to employ them. They actually have all the tools they need to set up their own operations.’

Join WDCD Mexico City to hear more from Alice Rawsthorn and her thoughts on the power of design as a tool for change. Buy your tickets now at