In early 2019, I started to prepare for my spring 2019 courses at the University of Illinois. That term I was assigned to teach EDGE (Ethics of a Designer in a Global Economy) and I felt the discussion of ethics on climate and graphic design needed to be a part of the class. I reached out to a few design educators in North America that I figured might want to get involved, and pitched the idea of working with a climate scientist and their data across our classrooms.
Unfortunately they had already planned their courses, so I went ahead anyway with the design project in collaboration with Prof. Michael E. Mann at Penn State University using his article on the famous hockey stick graph, the book “One World” by Peter Singer, the 2018 IPCC report, and a number of other online readings on climate, design, psychology, and ethics.
The project resulted in some interesting information graphics (like the poster below by Clark Fan), but it didn’t have the larger impact I hoped. Over the summer of 2019, I spent most of my time with my daughter at the pool, watching CW’s “The Flash”, reading, and playing tennis. I let my brain take a vacation.
In mid-July I started a twitter conversation with two other design educators, Kristian Bjørnard and Marc O’Brien about what design educators could do to help drawdown greenhouse gas emissions and inspire other designers to join the fight against climate change.
After we emailed back and forth, had a few Zoom conference calls, we developed the grand idea to unite and collaborate with other design educators through a site we called www.climatedesigners.org.
So, we ask you to join us…
There’s a new kind of designer emerging. Climate Designers are those focusing their creative talents towards addressing our climate crisis. They’re ready to step up and take action. Join them at www.climatedesigners.org
Climate designers are collaborating with others to build out, launch, and promote new climate approaches. Join them and others at www.climatedesigners.org #climatedesigners
Check out www.climatedesigners.org. A new hub for creative professionals and design educators taking climate action. Join them at www.climatedesigners.org