Protest and persuasion: Kingston graphic design students work with Amnesty UK

FullSizeRender2Kingston’s second-year Graphic Design BA(Hons) students worked on a project with Amnesty UK to create a campaign in support of human rights.

The brief involved creating an instantly recognisable idea, picture, joke, or a piece of street theatre to break through to the public, catch their attention for the three seconds – on average – that you have to engage. A signature on a petition is the desired outcome.

Hugh Sandeman from Amnesty International, Kingston Branch praised Kingston’s graphic design students, ‘these aren’t just amazing ideas in the studio, the Kingston design students showed their work in the street. Amnesty’s human rights campaigning in Kingston, and nationally across the UK, can learn a lot from all of you about how to make a big splash in just three seconds.’

Students were asked to research an aspect of one of three of Amnesty International’s campaigns and relay this message to the public in an engaging way in order to gain awareness and petition signatures. The campaigns were: Refugees, Migrants and Asylum; My Body My Rights and The Human Rights Act.

Responding to the refugee crisis one project focused on the inadequate space a refugee is confined within when attempting a journey into the UK. Through public interaction, the students aimed to evoke empathy with refugees travelling in these restricted conditions. The students built an angular structure that is a relative size to the confirmed and uncomfortable space refugees are known to travel, such as fuel tanks and aeroplane wheels. Their research relied largely on first-hand reports made by a relatively small amount of successful refugees who have gained access to the UK in confined conditions.

For the students, this was a key point for them to begin developing their roles as designers in the real world and creating design responses to social problems and engaging with a live audience.

Find out more about Graphic Design BA(Hons).