We live a world where wealth, health and knowledge are unequally shared. Of our 6.3 billion fellow human beings, 2 billion go hungry daily. Each day, an estimated 35 000 children die of malnurishment and preventable diseases. Meanwhile, the so-called ‘developed’ world is caught up in consumption, choked by choice, overwhelmed with data, over-branded, and overpowered by the rapid pace of change. Can design help mend the gaps between our world’s ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’?
During the ‘Building Bridges’ seminar organized by Icograda and its local member association (the Turkish Society of Graphic Designers), Robert L. Peters presented a thought-provoking challenge to the design community to consider the disadvantaged in the world and to find ways to mobilize the power of design for their benefit. He provided startling statistics on some of the most pressing social issues in the world (Poverty, HIV/Aids, Water Scarcity, Violence, and Refugees) and called on those in attendance to give of their time, talents and resources to support Design for the World and its activities.
The two-day ‘Building Bridges’ seminar is part of the Icograda Design Week in Istanbul from 27 to 31 January 2004. A diverse group of presenters provided a wide range of perspectives regarding the diversity of graphic design today—from Australia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Denmark, Great Britain, Greece, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.
Robert is a Vice President of Design for the World (DW), a Barcelona-based international humanitarian organisation formed to match the skills of volunteer designers in all disciplines with the needs of disadvantaged populations and the organisations that serve them. DW works to identify areas where professional design can make a difference, to mobilize design professionals, and to share information. DW believes that people disadvantaged by poverty, war, disability, age, natural disasters, or environmental conditions deserve equal access to practical design solutions that will improve their day-to-day lives.