Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Refugeoly

At this year’s Goldsmiths Design Festival, alumnus and current studio manager Vinny Montag presented “Refugeoly”, a game based on Monopoly and designed by Vinny and his collaborator Jon Halls. The purpose of the project is to provide the player with a simulation of the difficulties refugees go through in their journey towards a safe haven. You can now watch the full presentation online:

But why Monopoly? What is the purpose of the game and what kind of reactions does it hope to get from its players? Vinny and Jon explain in more detail:

Vinny: The objective of this project is to create awareness about the situation of thousands of people living in a dramatic situation, people that have not chosen to leave their countries of origin, but simply have to flee in order to save their lives. We do not have a specific target audience for this project, in fact we have played Refugeoly with all kinds of people, of all ages and of different status. We have experienced many kinds of reactions. The hardest one is possibly when we have played with children, some of them left the game halfway through, telling us that it is impossible to win and why is this happening…For other people that had not idea of the circumstances that a refugee has to go through, the game was simply the best way to be in the shoes of a refugee.Read More »

Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Ingvild Augestad explores identities and labels

Ingvild Bjertnæs Augestad’s graduation project from the MA in Design: Critical Practice aims to spread knowledge about gender identity by telling stories of transgender people, through an organisation called LABELLED:

“I have designed a platform for communication about a non-traditional perception of gender. I created different examples of communication tools through the strategy of telling and gathering stories from all kinds of people, with a focus on transgender people. LABELLED is the organisation and it is supposed to publish, for example, postcards with facts about a non-traditional gender perception, engaging you to write down your own story and send it back to the organisation. There are also school-kits for collecting information from children, which put them in a situation of thinking about differences and identity, and how unique they are, because everyone is different. There are also the LABELLED talks, seminars where the organisation has set up a frame for what kind of subjects are important to different audiences, such as nurses or doctors. There are the posters, which are telling stories of gender fluid people through pictures and text. The aim of the organisation LABELLED is to keep a positive attitude, and to make people feel engaged and surprised.Read More »

Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Maurizio Detomaso investigates air pollution in London

For his graduation project from the MA in Design & Innovation, Maurizio Detomaso designed a device that maps the user’s exposure to air pollution:

“The concept is a wearable air quality sensor which can track your personal air pollution exposure. The aim of the project is to raise awareness about the impact the over polluted environment has on human health, and to empower people to collect and map air quality data in the urban environments. The portable device can allow people to have an accurate assessment of their daily exposure to air pollution and it can improve the London air monitoring system network at the same time. Making this “hyper-object” more tangible is the key to influencing strong political and individual actions for a cleaner and healthier environment.”Read More »

Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Wendy Lau re-interprets human rights

For her graduation project from the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Wendy Lau explores human rights through a series of activities that question our own perspectives and priorities on the issue, as well as encourage us to understand other people’s perspectives:

“I started with an observation on human rights nowadays, and I initially thought I could come up with tangible solutions or a design strategy to deal with the situation. However, after research, I found that the issue was really complex, so instead I tried to provide an experience to get the audience to understand, or to start thinking about the importance of human rights. So, this is a proposal and it consists of five sections of interaction which explore different perspectives on approaching human rights. The experience is trying to get the participants not only to express what it means to have human rights, but also to question the response of others, and start to re-think the various interpretations.Read More »