Filed under: Case study, Practice-led research, Thoughts on readings
Are the designers really considering their audiences when designing their artefacts, or are we just doing these to please ourselves? It seems we’ve taken a step backwards in simply designing whatever we like.
Talking to Dom from Australian Infront, he thought that the ideas we had were really interesting, but his critique was that he was uncertain whether that will really engage the audience, and if it would make much difference in what we’re aiming to do. This was a valid point, painful only because it’s something I should have been conscious of. He used the example of Adbusters ‘black dot’ campaign. He genuinely thought it was a really good idea to go around sticking black dots on shops/companies that had bad human/enrivonmental practices – but he didn’t do it. He didn’t download the graphics, even though he would consider himself as a politically motivated and passionate person. Why?
In hindsight, I think the designers really need to just make things – as that seems to be an obstacle for most – to put something out there for all to see and critique. Does the ‘realness’ of thinking of the audience hinder the flow of creative generative activity?
However, it shouldn’t stop there, as if designers are only allowed to be ‘creative’ by making a physical artefact. Talking to people one-to-one works really well too. That power of individual engagement, with or without a designed piece of artwork is extremely influential and direct. Designing the mecahnisms that makes it work – designing a design strategy. So, what about staging a demo with people to come wearing suits? Using SMS technology in some way? Bake a cake for assylum seekers? I seem to have fallen in the trap of exactly what I was being critical of the graphic designers for doing – relying on artefact too much, and not considering that design includes the organisation and strategy of the entire movement. It seems as if we relied on the website to do everything, and neglected that there are other equally targeted ways to reach audiences as well.