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5 Unit 14: Jacek Mrowczyk

í Unit 14: Jacek Mrowczyk

Q: Can design make a difference?

How and to what extent can design change, or influence the world around us? There have never been times like these: technology, politics, environmental challenges, and social unrest are colliding with remarkable force, shaking the earth and its inhabitants to the core. Can designers make a difference in this complicated world, and if so how? We often hear about design as a tool for change. This Unit asks you to question this premise, to look closely at the world around you, at both large and small-scale issues, and identify areas where design has made change.

For Mon. Nov. 14th

Define the area of design activity (what the project refers to, e.g. improving visual communication of public transport system, discrimination, freedom of speech in the academic units, helping the homeless, hate speech in politics, revitalization of town districts, activating the local community, recycling & environment). Where do you want to have impact? Research into existing solutions (what requires improvement/intervention).

Fill a table with your research. Use the table as your platform to demonstrate the problem.

Learning Objectives

– learning to think critically

– learn to work with unconventional media to create heightened experiences for audiences and users

– develop a critical outlook within the discipline of graphic design

– learn to critically investigate socially involved graphic design (ideology/propaganda/activism)

– define areas where graphic design directly affects users awareness

– paying attention to how design activates social awareness

– consider how to intervene or subvert daily routines in order to communicate a new angle on an existing problem


For Wed. Nov. 16th

Developing three initial concept/solutions designs (sketches, descriptions), including a proper strategy for possible intervention. Print results (any format) and fill a wall surface with your proposals.

For Mon. Nov. 28th in-class

Preparing a presentation (keynote/pdf) of selected initial concept. The presentation should include:

  1. detailed project description
  2. implementation strategy/action (for example intervention in public space)
  3. project’s impact on the surroundings/environment (how the design should work)
  4. assumed process, changes/results
  5. suggested project efficacy evaluation method

For Wed. Nov. 30th small groups/brief walk about

Prototype the preliminary design of the implementation strategy/action

For Mon. Dec. 5th/rotate teachers

Presentation of documentations from intervention/action.

For Wed. Dec. 7th/final crit

Walk about / project presentation

Presentation of project’s documentation.


Reading: “Research and Destroy” by Daniel van der Velden

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