‘Stand up and design!’ are the first words in WDCD’s new book ‘Designing Activism’ that is to be officially presented today at WDCD Live Amsterdam 2018. By portraying ‘31 designers fighting for a better world’ the book aims to inspire other designers to follow their example and start designing for positive change.

‘Today’s world desperately needs creativity,’ the book’s intro states. ‘Climate change, geopolitical instability, nationalist movements, racism, gender-based violence, terrorism, corporatism, fake news: the world is full of horrors. We need fresh ideas to stem the tide.’ We need, in other words, activist designers who use their skills and experience to bring about social, political, economic or environmental change.

Designers on the barricades

‘Designing Activism’, WDCD’s fourth publication, presents 31 designers from all corners of the world who metaphorically climb the barricades to fight for equality, social justice, plastic recycling, peace, or wellbeing. Among them Bas Timmer, inventor of the Sheltersuit for the homeless, Russian illustrator Victoria Lomasko, author of the book ‘Other Russia’, and Indian photographer Sujatro Ghosh who campaigned for women’s emancipation with a series of photos of women wearing a cow’s mask.

Other designers featured in the book are Ekene Ijeoma (US), Ronny Edry (Israel), Sunny Dolat (Kenya), Kacey Wong (Hong Kong), Panmela Castro (Brazil) and Edel Rodriguez (USA). All the portraits and project descriptions together form an impressive display of positive action by designers and other creative spirits. The collection of stories is a convincing argument for the impact design can have on society.

Or, as activist architect Cameron Sinclair puts it: ‘Design isn’t only about aesthetics, it’s about problem solving and we have a planet plagued with problems.’ Hence the call to all designers: ‘Stand up and design!’

‘Designing Activism. 31 Designers Fighting for a Better World’ (104 pp, € 19,95) is available at the bookstand at WDCD Live Amsterdam and throughWDCD’s web shop.  

Page on architect Alfredo Brillembourg

Page on Indian photographer 
Sujatro Ghosh

Page on Aaron Huey / Amplifier