What is the Context for Visual Communication Practice

1. Pragmatic

-Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary – you can use any and all visual communication tools to achieve your desired ends

2. Idealistic

-Focussed on “making the world a better place”

We use the idea of “making the world a better place” as a context for looking at practice, a lens through which we observe and assess the value of practice. A way of deciding which practice interests us.

We are interested in work which aims to make the world a better place. Work which hopes to change the world. Work which is socially engaged.

Issues looked at;
-Poverty
-Homelessness
-Unemployment
-Body image (eating disorders, obesity)
-Racism
-Feminism

Mediums;
-Photography
-Cartoon
-Event Management
-Documentary film
-Product design

Victor Papanek – product designer
Design for the real world, 1971

‘The designer’s responsibility must go far beyond these considerations [of how designs will be received by the marketplace]. His social and moral judgement must be brought into play long before he begins to design, since he has to make a judgement must be brought into play long before he begins to design, since he has to make a judgement, an a priori judgement at that, as to whether the products he is asked to design or redesign merit his attention at all. In other words, will his design be on the side of social good or not.

The designer is in a position where difficult moral and ethical choices have to be made. And there are many different ways of dealing with this ethical dilemma. Some (ex-students) have sold out to an employer and continue to design luxury items for a small privileged class. Others …contribute one tenth of their time or one tenth of their income to solving problems of abject need…Others have realised that the social changes of the last ten or so years are providing new opportunities for designers… Others have decided to teach…and work… only on those jobs they consider socially important. Others have created entirely new professions for themselves.

If you’re not part of the solution
You’re part of the problem

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