Graduation Project Mariska Lamiaud
Sofa upholstered with Sunbrella Bengali Violet in the shape of a whale.
Exhibited at the Graduation Show during Dutch Design Week.
Instagrammable: designed to be photographed, liked and shared on Instagram.
With more than 800 million of active users per month, Instagram -the app where people can share their lifestyle online through photos and hashtags- can have serious impact on our lives. Often criticized for their superficiality, I believe social media platforms like Instagram can become vectors of change if used as tools for activism, turning into platforms where Influencers become ambassadors of causes like social injustice or the protection of the environment. A demonstration in a street will often reach way less people than the picture of an Influencer with 4million followers.
With this in mind, I imagined a new campaign methodology for NGOs to help spread awareness more efficiently. Using the protection of the oceans as a case study, I designed three instagrammable products for three different contexts: interior, open air events and indoor events. Each of the products follow certain codes of instagrammability like the use of bright colors, user interaction, eye-catching design and most importantly being really photogenic. Although they are designed to be playful props for people to take pictures with, they are also subtly highlighting different issues like plastic in the ocean and the threats to marine wildlife. In the end, not only will influencers have a great photo, they will also share with their community issues that matter.
As a human being, it can feel frustrating to feel powerless when confronted to the issues the world is facing. As a designer I try to use this frustration as inspiration and translate it in my work, by giving shape to current social issues and putting them in the spotlight. I believe design can be a tool for activism. The products I create are a medium to share a message with an audience, to confront them with things they might know but don’t want to think about. By doing this I hope to raise awareness amongst people so they realize they can also take action on their scale.