Design as a Weapon

Design is a powerful tool for social change yet in today’s world that seems so forgotten. Designers used to make posters and protest the wrong, spread messages to awake the people and stir them to action. Now we just plug in our earbuds and with eyes glued to our phones, dote over articles that showcase ui trends and read self-help tips on how to make it big.

Today, posters are dead and along with them died the activist designer. 

This upcoming generation of designers seem so obsessed by the startup manifesto of fame and fortune that they forget the power they hold. It’s a shame that some the most brilliant present-day minds are being swept up in the clutches of silicon valley to become a mere tool for generating wealth. Designers today spend so much time using design thinking to solve niche consumer “problems” while so many national and global issues are going unnoticed.

With black lives matter, refugees spilling over boarders, racist politicians, and an entire planet off balance from our own fumes, there has never been a more crucial time in history for designers to build platforms and brands that can inspire the masses to take action, rather than simply spend more money on services they don’t really need. 

Don’t just build tools and then let the people do with them what they may, build with intent. Build to create change. Build to bring to light issues that remain in the dark. 

Wrap your website in beautiful ui, lace the top with a crisp logo and coat your app in the lacker of simplicity and you have yourself a machine, built and armed to entice the masses. It spreads like wildfire, starting conversations and igniting thousands of downloads. The people love it. 

But all for what? 

The world doesn’t need any more flappy birds, or social networks. The world doesn’t need another weather app to tell you if it’s foggy outside of your trendy office in San Francisco. 

You’ve been training your entire life to solve problems, now go solve a problem that matters.