“Don’t fight forces, use them” is a Buckminster Fuller quote that is especially relevant for designers in these times of converging economic and environmental pressures. I was reminded of this idea at Practivism - a talk on sustainability and communication design - when Brian Dougherty said, “We can all invent this - be the expert.”
Dougherty was referring to the blossoming area of graphic design practice that weaves sustainability thinking into the outcome. It’s a niche ripe for becoming mainstream through the experiments of a set of brave visual innovators.
Practivism is the hybrid word for practice and activism drummed up by the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) BC team to describe this particular form of practical problem solving. The Practivism event in Vancouver this November was an evening of talks by Dougherty along with Eric Karjaluoto and Marc Alt. Marian Bantjes captured the synergy of the night in a heart-racing promotional poster.
Eric Karjaluoto kept the audience giggling through his comedic slideshow which included an advertisement he found depicting an SUV driving into the sunset titled: “Because you Hate Mother Nature.” He introduced a new word he found on a blog: Depletist – a description of an individual with environmentally inappropriate behaviour. Karjaluoto is the author of the web site Design can Change which aims to bring the design community together to design positive outcomes. A self-described “mini-van driving, fast...