Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
The complicated relationship between design and social responsibility
Frieze Magazine posted a great roundtable discussion about the relationship between design and social responsibility. Even though it’s good that “socially responsible design” is becoming more popular, there are also some pitfalls:
There’s a great quote from Brazilian Bishop Hélder Câmara: ‘When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.’ Everyone loves you for donating something beautiful to a community in need. It’s a good way to win design awards and can sometimes have a meaningful short-term benefit for a community in crisis. But charity work often does not address to the deeper roots and causes of conflict and inequity, and at its worse may even exacerbate a situation, providing the veneer of a solution where deep problems still exist, and creating complacency where there is the need for outrage, tough choices and hard work.