BRUT.TO is an innovative studio that creates graphic design in collaboration with mentally disabled people. In most sheltered workshops, simple products are created for the sake of it, having little benefit and very little demand. The creative potential of people with disabilities is untapped, with no real-world application outside the boundaries of creative workshops, day centres or special schools. All of that potential is lost.
For several decades, art therapy has dealt with the artistic expression of challenged people and people outside the majority of society. In design, we can question the borders of the ‘normal’ and find inspirational, functioning solutions in collaboration with creators who are traditionally perceived as different.
The BRUT.TO graphic studio brings solutions where two seemingly disparate worlds are connected— an artistic community of professional graphic artists and a social services day centre for adults with mental disabilities, DOMKO, in Košice.
Recipient of the Slovak Design Award 2020, BRUT.TO engages in creative activism, allowing people with disabilities — in collaboration with professional graphic artists — to fully utilise their creative potential and become real creators; to be evaluated according to the quality of their work, not according to their disadvantage.
BRUT.TO was Tereza Sejková’s student project at the Socrates Institute, working together with Zuzana Kutašová and others. Inclusion and well-devised collaboration can help society as a whole to solve long-term problems, or it can at least open an effective and fruitful dialogue.