A recently opened exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London explores “the widespread and often subliminal nature of Graphic Design in shaping our environment, our health and our sense of self”.
The show has been curated by Lucienne Roberts, founder of studio LucienneRoberts+ and Rebecca Wright, who is programme director for Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, together with Shamita Sharmacharja, a curator at Wellcome Collection. Together, Lucienne and Rebecca also run the pioneering publishing house, GraphicDesign&.
The exhibition is divided into six sections – Persuasion, Education, Hospitalisation, Medication, Contagion and Provocation – examining the role of graphic design in helping to make the world a better place, and featuring over 200 examples of various creative projects.
It is a rare example of an exhibition which champions the role of Graphic Design – in which all of the work featured focuses on the context and value of design responsibility and social purpose. It is unusual in that it represents a vivid opportunity for the general public to engage with Graphic Design practice outside of its normal commercial contexts.
There is also an excellent book available which acts as a compendium, explaining the background and intention of all the exhibited work featured at the show, and many more examples. The accompanying writing offers revealing insight into the craft and care of those Graphic Designers who are involved in bringing something beautiful to life, imbued with purpose and meaning. The publication, just like the exhibition, is both exquisitely produced and educationally valuable.
The show runs until 14 January 2018 at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Entry is free.
Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? Is published by GraphicDesign&.
Exhibition Images – Copyright: Andrew Meredith