Week 3: Assessment 1 – Activity 2 – Design Activism

Viola Design works with non-profit organisation International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) to effect change in poverty and oppression in developing countries focusing on the Asia Pacific region.

Keeping in line with Thorpe’s approach that “activism is only effective in conjunction with broader campaigns and movements” (Thorpe, A. 2011, pg14), IWDA worked in “partnership with 195 women’s rights and alliances across every continent except Antarctica” (IWDA, 2015) and are now focusing on the Asia Pacific region. They have developed a number of  communication materials which incorporates the same ideals. These include fundraising brochures and newsletters.

I believe this campaign meets Thorpe’s criteria (2011, pg6) for design activism: as both organisations are calling out an issue and are working to advocate change for a neglected group of people, people who are poverty stricken and where women’s rights aren’t being heard, a group of people who may not be able to help themselves.

Below is an example of IWDA’s and Viola Design’s collaboration:

International Women's Development Agency

International Women’s Development Agency

(Viola Designs, 2007)

Thorpe, A. (2011).
Defining Design as Activism.
Retrieved July 2015 from http://designactivism.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Thorpe-definingdesignactivism.pdf

International Women’s Development Agency
Retrieved 24 July 2015 from: https://www.iwda.org.au/what-we-do/where-we-work/

Viola Designs (2015)
Retrieved 24 July 2015 from: http://www.violadesign.com.au/portfolio/international-womens-development-agency


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