Social Design: Take Heart & Take Art
Hello! I am Roxy, and I believe in the power and ability of art and design to become tools for social change. :)
When I hear of social design, there are only two things that we should remember. Two very important verbs that will guide us if we do believe and want to be a Social designer: to take heart and take art.
“Take heart” is a beautiful phrase that also means such a beautiful virtue which is courage. To take heart is to be courageous. It means we have to go out of our comfort zone, to take one step outside what we know and what we are used to. It means to think bigger and envision dreams that will make us very much afraid to reach for them because they are that big and wild and amazing. :)
Do we have wild dreams? Or are we too confined with the boxes reality closed us in that we never challenged ourselves and the way life is anymore? Do we have wild dreams that are too big to happen that we don’t bother dreaming of them anymore?
Well, that’s not acceptable. Nothing will happen to us, to the people around us, to this country, if we don’t dream big for it. And If I ask you right now, what your 5 wildest and craziest dreams are, what would they be?
My wildest dreams in relation to my passion, which is design and art, are the following, and hopefully they inspires you to think of your 5 wildest dreams as well.
- To have the Philippines be like France. I love the Eiffel tower, but that’s not the reason why I want the Philippines to be like this very famous European country. I want the Philippines to be like France because most of the people living there are theater actors, painters, artists, and musicians. And they are well-off! Here in the Philippines, we look down at artists, and we look down at art. We don’t see the value of art and design & how how much it can help us even economically.
- I dream of a fashion show in the slums. I want to break the notion that fashion design, aesthetics and style are only for the rich. I want to create amazing clothes and shoes with the use of cheap but beautiful materials and have it modeled and used and developed by the ordinary Filipino: The fair-skinned and the short.
- I dream of a software, that contains all the information that will track poor Filipino communities’ progress. Very much like the google maps, the software will be able to track all the poor barangays in a city, and contain information regarding the people’s education, employement, economic, health situation. How many children don’t go to school? How many work with minimum wage? How many families do not have PhilHealth? Imagine if this software and information is available to every organization big and small, and to every individual who wants to help but don’t know how to? They would know where to go. They would know what part of the Philippines need their help more. This will be able to balance the efforts of all organizations and groups that want to help the country.
- I dream that Works of Heart becomes very big that it will take care of the whole country’s promotions of all advocacies. I want Works of Heart to aid all NGO’s and mission-based organizations in their efforts and have every Filipino know this, to create a culture of valuing social change and efforts.
- I dream to help our education system through information design. Not only do we lack teachers, chairs, books, but we also need to improve the educational system and curriculum itself. And I believe that information design can very much help that area.
I remember in Grey’s Anatomy (I don’t know if it’s scientifically correct), Mcdreamy said that there is this very thin line in our brain that separates our perception of reality and fantasy. That is why when a patient in the show had a brain tumor that damaged that very thin line, she got dreams and reality mixed up. And it got me thinking, maybe the line between our dreams and reality is really just thin. Maybe, our dreams are less than an inch away from happening, and it’s only up to us to take the courage to do so.
The middle part of the brain is our core, our very personality. Everything else that goes around it are just our basic knowledge of things, of ideas. But the most middle part, is who we are: our memories, the people we know, the things we plan and dream. Courage, is action with heart. Courage is doing something passionately that a very big part of who we are is laid out and at risk. And it is very important to know no matter how big dreams are, to what the core of it is truly is.
That is why the very core of the biggest and wildest dreams I mentioned, is basically the use of art and design to effect change in society.
And I guess somehow, that is what Work’s of Heart is trying to do. We plan to serve, through giving our talents and skills in art and design to those who need it the most so that they can shout out their cause. We plan to share art and design to hopefully every part of the country especially to the communities who do not have the opportunity to use art and design. And lastly, we plan to solve the most pressing issues in the country.
Now if you are ready to dream big, to make that step further, it’s time to take art. As in literally take art.
I’ve heard a lot of people say how much they hate how its easy for everyone to call themselves artists and designers just because they know Photoshop. I know and understand where they are coming from, but for me, I really believe that we can all be artists and designers. As long as we can create and transform our ideas and our inspirations into visual form, we are artists. There will always be people better than us, but we have to believe in ourselves first. Bo Sanchez said that how people see us is nothing, and how we see ourselves is everything. Before we can do anything, we have to learn to believe that we are artists and designers. And if that is clear in our hearts, learning and being better will just follow and easy.
Now this is the part where we take art. Art and design is currently about the art and the artist. There is nothing wrong with that and I believe in that so much. We need to really put ourselves into the art we are making. But as I have said before, it’s time to make a step further, it’s time to dream a little bigger and get out of the box of what we are used to. It’s time to take art’s definition from being about us and the work itself, and more for them. It’s time to take art and design for give it a bigger task and responsibility, and to have it ignite and create change.
Social Design definitely calls for a new set of designers. It needs designers who are more courageous and really have the heart to change the country’s situation.
This is the best definition I’ve found online by William Dentrel. I loved the way he explains that Social design is not just like any other field of design and how big it really is.
I’ve tackled about what it takes to be a social designer and what we have to do to create social design, but how do we actually know if we are called to be social designers? Only with this: If we believe that we are called to the place where our deep gladness and the world’s deepest hunger meet.
The country is in so much pain and suffering, and there are so many ways to help our fellow Filipinos. But the best way we can give ourselves, the best way we can serve is through our deepest passion that God Himself placed into our hearts. And I love art and design so much that I know it is my armor to fight this country’s battle.
So, are you ready to take heart and take art with me?