“We [designers] are in difficult and dangerous times. For many years, we lived in a world that, despite its problems, was nevertheless committed to principles of democracy in which human rights, fundamental freedoms, and opportunities for personal development, were increasing. Today, this picture has changed profoundly. There are attacks on democracy in several countries – including those where democracy had seemed to be unshakable.” (Ezio Manzini and Victor Margolin, 2017)
Engaging with socio-political issues through design is not a new phenomenon, yet, transnational involvement of social networks and their political potentials call for a profound discussion about existing power relations and possible modes of intervention and inquiry. This talk will examine design activism especially within social media platforms which have both enabled political participation as well as fueled anti-democratic movements.
Maziar Rezai is a design activist, design researcher and strategist, and film critic. Holding a master’s degree in industrial design from the Islamic Azad University in Tehran and having studied as a PhD joint student at Köln International School of Design (KISD), he currently is a PhD candidate at the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK) and previously a guest lecturer in the Art University of Tehran in Iran. He has given lectures and published numerous papers and articles in both English and Persian on a range of topics including issues of sustainable design and design activism. Besides his more academic work, he also works as a creative director and design counselor and has led several consulting projects in Iran. He is a member of The International Research Network on Design (and) Activism which was founded in 2017 by Tom Bieling (HAW Hamburg) & Andréa Poshar (Politecnico di Milano), at the Design Research Lab in Berlin University of the Arts. His first book, which is the result of his collaboration with Prof. Michael Erlhoff, contains 12 texts of well-known design researchers from worldwide, recently has published by Birkhäuser Verlag in Basel.
For more information on Maziar Rezai