The Design of Dissent: Graphic Design for Socio-Political Engagement
Rudnicki, Justine Caroline
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Design engages with the political and expresses resistance to hegemonic institutions and ideologies when it employs disruptive visual communication. In a context of contemporary visual communication, images often lack a theoretical and practical framework to create inquiry and social change. Informed by activism, visual rhetoric, political theory, and design criticism, this thesis offers strategies and practices for socio-political engagement by melding these approaches into the discipline of graphic design. This thesis makes the claim that graphic designs relationship with the public interest is one that should not be undervalued. It studies the implications of perception of graphic design work as a means of social change to demonstrate the efficacy of visual communication. This thesis asks designers to evaluate the way we as communicators and citizens express desires, beliefs, and critiques, demonstrating how contestational design exists as socio-political action.