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Design for the World


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(established 1998)

Founded by the leading international design organizations—ICOGRADA (graphic design and visual communication), ICSID (industrial design), and IFI (interior architecture)—with the help of the Barcelona Design Centre, this organization seeks to apply design skills and knowledge to those who most need them, such as victims of disaster or problems in the third world. It is in many ways a late 20th‐century initiative that seeks to counter the views of the design profession as seen in the critical writings and views of many—from Victor Papanek to Naomi Klein—and an attempt to make a more positive intervention in regaining the moral initiative in ways that earlier interventions such as Design for Need in the 1970s had failed to deliver. Those involved with Design for the World have sought to promote the effectiveness of the design process in improving the objectives of relief and humanitarian organizations and initiatives in relation to disasters, education, disadvantaged people, and development issues. It also seeks to act as a broker between volunteer designers and interested parties. Early projects included involvement in a refugee camp analysis in Tanzania and a social housing project in a problematic area of Barcelona with further stimulus given by the Graphic Design Conference for Social Causes held in Barcelona in 2002. IFI had also initiated a similar, but ‘hands on’ initiative through its Pro Vitae programme established in 1997.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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