This project was dreamed up in an attempt to bring together my growing fustration with the 'commercial' world of graphic design and the exciting desire for change that was emerging in many forms throughout grassroots politics. In 1996 at the Jan van Eyck Academie, in Mastricht, Holland, I produced a poster to send out to all the contacts I had in graphic design and politics (mainly through the cactus network) aggressively starting a debate, hoping it would develop into something interesting.

In retrospect, as I never quite finished the project, it led me into more direct and interesting ways of using my skills and ideas within society. Not solving any big problems but raising enough questions to make it clear that the world of graphic design had no desire (yet) to face up to its collusion with the capitalist political system.

Maybe as the momentum continues with initiatives such as the Design Beyond Design symposium, at the Jan van Eyck, or the Declarations symposium at Concordia University, Montreal, along with many mainstream articles and books, that position can be challenged. Now is the time, with so much happening, to get involved rather than discuss from the sidelines - but we can always come back to this question...


"Debate" is a series of six posters developing a discussion around politics and graphic design. The 1st poster in the series outlined the project and invited contributions in the form of texts or images to start a debate. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th poster continues the dialogue. Finally, a free booklet will one day be produced containing all the above contributions and further discussions that were held in Paris, Berlin, London, Rotterdam and Barcelona.