Designing the future: what role can designers play in movement building?

London CoTech Meetup
London CoTech Meetup
Public group
Location image of event venue


Design plays a key role in our every day lives. Whether we explicitly notice it or not, so much around us is consciously designed - our buildings and cities, the tools and services we use, books, images, websites and images. Yet when capitalism encroaches on all elements of life, graphic designers are forced into advertising, and architects have little choice but to design banks and shopping centres. As we face global political insecurity and environmental catastrophe, what role can designers play in building strong social movements?

This event will bring together designers who are interested in applying their skills to social issues and building social movements. Join us to hear their thoughts, and discuss the issues at stake. We'll be hearing from:

Gemma Copeland
Gemma is an interdependent digital designer. She is a member of Common Knowledge, a worker cooperative that designs digital tools for grassroots activists. She is also part of the new Designers + Cultural Workers branch of United Voices of the World. Gemma will discuss the agency that designers have in building alternative social and political structures, given that design is inherently an imaginative and relational practice.

Autonomous Design Group
Autonomous Design Group is an independent collective of designers,
artists and creatives opposed to capitalism and authoritarianism. They
believe that the aesthetic is of vital importance in the terrain of
political struggle; all their designs are available open-source and they
design for a variety of groups They will give a brief historical introduction to brief history political design collectives
(Atelier Populaire, Grapus, DSG) and discuss their work and motivations.

Robbie Blundell
Robbie Blundell works as an interdependent graphic designer.
Through this he has recently been developing and maintaining an assemblage of aesthetics, cooperatives, technologies, identities, communities, politics, friends and cultures. He is a member of Evening Class and previously co-produced Strike magazine.

Julian Siravo & Francesca Farruggia
Julian & Francesca are part of Autonomy_Urban and has been developing a series of de-commodified infrastructures for work, including co-working facilities, SME logistics support services and an infrastructure for the future of ageing and social care. He’ll be presenting the latter of the three, Long Term Care Centres looking at how we can build a home for community care a cooperative nursing.

The Venue/Organiser
SPACE4 is a work and events space that aims to bring together people and organisations to use digital technology for social good and activism. We particularly work with cooperatives and non-hierarchical organisations, and is part of CoTech, the UKs network of digital co-operatives.