Activism Art and Design

Politicized Design: escaping oppressive systems with participatory movements

Watched Politicizing Design from the Grassroots by Bibiana Oliveira SerpaBibiana Oliveira Serpa from Futuress

Drawing from popular activist movements in Latin America, this talk explores the possibilities for the politicization of design.

In her PhD thesis that she recently defended for the Design program of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (ESDI/UERJ) in Brazil, Bibiana delved into her experiences as an active member of different civil society grassroots movements to reveal some of the political, ethical, and practical issues that permeate the transformative action of these collectives.

Through Militant Research Methodology and inspired by her action in the fields of popular education and feminism, she traced paths for a possible politicization of the Design field. In this conversation, Bibiana shares some of the lessons she learned from this journey, articulating four axes she considers crucial for the politicization of Design: ontology, epistemology, practice, and content.

Presented by Bibiana Serpa, a PhD visual designer from Brazil

Design & Opressão (Design and Oppression Network)

Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras

What is militant research?

  • aims to educate people politically
  • participatory — cannot only research
  • acts in the “context of discovery” not “context of justification” — not seeking to support an existing theory, but to learn
  • always collective

Process of politicization

social movements are self-educating and self-transforming –> politicization

politicization = political learning — “a relational and experiential process”

Art and Design

Book cover collage design

Bookmarked Book Covers of Note, July 2022 by Dan (

I’m even later than usual this month and everyone else posted their selections days ago, so you must really like book covers if you’re still jonesing for more!

Really like this collage cover for Carnality designed by Tyler Comrie. I like the soft buttery background with the bright coral sans serif type, and the profusion of coral dots over the nun’s face is intriguing. The same designer also created the covers for There There and Interior Chinatown, which I find striking.

In that collection, I also thought the cover for The Status Game designed by Steve Leard was clever (who also created the cool type-centric cover for The Hype Machine), and admired the cover for The Wine-Dark Sea Within designed by Rebecca Lown.

Art and Design Resources and Reference

Color Palettes from Sanzo Wada

Liked (
Sanzo Wanda’s Combination 300

A huge range of color palettes from Japanese designer Sanzo Wada. Some really bright fun colors and cool retro combinations, and if you like a particular color you can see all the palettes it’s used in.

Combination 325
Combination 74
Combination 77
Combination 262