What design can do is an international platform that uses design as a tool for change. It’s about power of design. They believe that design with creativity can transform thinking of the society.
Co-founder of this project is Richard van der Laken, graphic designer from Netherlands and founder of well known design studio based in Amsterdam De Designpolitie. What design can do organizes covers conferences, challenges all around the world and publishes books.
Challenges inspire society to solve some of the biggest problems of these days. Ideas are coming from professional
,graphic designers and students.
Many of these challenges focus on the climate change and social issues and some of them are based on local collaboration. One of them is No Minor Thing which is about sexual exploitation of children. During this challenge 12 graphic design teams had competed to give best concepts and ideas showing how design can help reflect this issue.
There’s a collaboration between What design can do, Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Justice and Security. At first the participants had a chance to listen and talk about the issue with professionals. After designer teams get a designer brief.
One of the competing projects was Private Parts from Design for humanity team. The idea was to work with Instagram series. Target group was aged between 10-14 years because this is the age when the sexual education has a meaning. Projects is about intimacy and sexuality in lives of young people.
Another interesting project was from What the Studio with the name No place for sex trafficking. The team have created a platform with online courses, where stuff from bars, hotels or taxis could learn the signs of the sex trafficking. If 60% of stuff have completed the course, hotels/bars got a certificate to be able to communicate a responsibility.
Many projects are good start for being aware or help. It’s commendable that people want to help communicate problems which are out of sight. If we pretend that there aren’t any, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
This challenge made me think. Is it better to focus on global problems such as climate change or wouldn’t be more efficient to focus on invisible problems like No Minor Thing did? Every big issue consists of many small ones. We can’t pretend there is one solution for such a big one that exists for decades. With smaller challenges there’s bigger chance to really change something.
I think that organizing challenges is really innovative way how to encourage creative people to reflect or solve problems. Without them it would be very difficult to motivate people to direct action. It is a great way how to show people how much design can do in our life.