Having a look at the website http://www.designcanchange.org, it is easy to understand that designers have great abilities to make a collective difference.
Conceived, in a way, to direct design unto the sustainable world, the website is full of advices and facts related to how to gain knowledge and try to solve, through design, issues as global warming or climate change.
As stated in the website:
‘Design Can Change works with the notion that we can collectively encourage substantial change. By utilizing our ability to effectively communicate and build interest, we can generate awareness and further the cause to end global warming.’ (n.d.)
This means that designers can make a positive impact to the world, engaging themselves in a global challenge and present real solutions.
Moreover, design has always been involved in politico aesthetic projects, but ‘has political engagement disappeared from contemporary design practices along with the ideological substructure?’, as stated in the design website Henkoo Sterling (n.d.).
It seems that, in an era of digitalization and globalization, designers are directly pointing their attentions to a more innovative way design can interact within systems and environments. By doing this, it becomes questionable wether the concept of idealism has been evaluated or not, along the years.
As stated by Henkoosterling.nl:
‘The critical impact of the qualification ‘idealistic’ evaporates in the debate about “postmodernism” which flares up around 1980. In this crisis the fate is sealed of a modernistic tradition dating from the French Revolution. In this tradition the meaning of “idealism” is canonized through the combined action of philosophical, political and artistic theories and practices.’ (n.d.)
Through his philosophy, Kant explains what role ideas play within the process of knowing.
Ideas, according to him, ‘derive their power precisely from the tension that exists between visual image and conceptual understanding’ (Henkoosterling.nl, n.d.).
Although politics are guided by rational arguments, ‘everyone realizes that only images give these arguments their coherence’ (Henkoosterling.nl, n.d.).
This means that, representing or promoting a credo through images, is far stronger than leaving it in its rationality, in a way that everyone can identify and understand its analytical meaning.
Stated that, design, wether perceived as idealistic or not, is a strong medium able to undermine the tension between the visual sphere and the conceptual one.
Designcanchange.org. (n.d.). Design Can Change :: Graphic designers unite to address climate change. [online] Available at: http://www.designcanchange.org/#/resources [Accessed 16 May 2016].
Henkoosterling.nl. (n.d.). IDEALISM. [online] Available at: http://www.henkoosterling.nl/idea-eng-def.html [Accessed 16 May 2016].