The Institute adopts the great leftist traditions of horizontal, democratic decision-making and organizing, bringing it to the world of design. A commitment to partnering within marginalized communities is at the core of our approach. The Institute is syndicalist, volunteer-based, cooperative, and nonhierarchical. The Institute works with other organizers, using strategic design thinking, investigative research, and community engagement to implement design interventions that lead to lasting, palpable change.
Inspired by the revolutionary collective models of the Medu Art Ensemble, Taller de Gráfica Popular, Atelier Populaire, Luther Blissett, Guerrilla Girls, the White Rose, and Gran Fury, the Institute strives for cooperative design solutions both self-initiated and along with other activists. These groups were born out of specific flashpoints in history, creating art that signaled defiance against tyrannical rule, oppression, and autocracy. They each manifested the spirit of critical moments, and left behind a lasting visual legacy. The impact of these forebears was deep and meaningful, and the Institute aspires to uphold their ethics.
The Design Activist Institute brings multi-disciplinary designers together with writers, researchers, engineers, activists, students, and other experts, and are always looking to collaborate. Come link up with other individuals who are aiming to make a difference in the world through creative means by clicking the "Join Us" link above. If you’re interested in getting involved, are a community organizer who wants to collaborate, want to attend a workshop, or are looking for more information about our projects, feel free to email us at the link below.