Design Activism and Social Change
Running from 7-10 September, ‘Design Activism and Social Change’ is the theme of the Design History Society’s 2011 conference, to be held in Barcelona. The event is convened by Guy Julier, the University’s Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Deputy Curator Dr Lesley Whitworth will take on a chairing role. The local organisers are the Fundacio Historia del Disseny (http://designhistoryfoundation.org/), and the sites are the University of Barcelona’s Faculty of Geography and History, and the Industrial Design Association (http://fad.cat/contents/view/aboutus).
Eschewing activism that is state or commercially sponsored, the conference embraces the recent (re-)emergence of socially engaged and independently generated design activism, and asks what is distinctive about current iterations, and what may be gleaned from different cultural and geo-political contexts? It seeks also to understand the tensions between activist and economic imperatives for designers across the whole spectrum of design practices.
The image accompanying this item is of designer FHK Henrion’s war-time information panels promoting home-rearing of rabbits to supplement rationed meat.