Using design to improve a situation
When design is used to improve a situation rather than sell it can be truly inspiring. There are several organisations funding and creating projects that aim to achieve this.
Design to reduce crime
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London has established a Design Against Crime research centre to address issues such as criminal activities and developing products and services that aid in crime prevention. They also have another resource called in the bag to help prevent street crime.
The UK home office employed design to create a campaign warning people in high theft areas and advising how they could reduce their chance of being a victim — the yellow and black are instantly recognisable as a sign of danger.
Colour to improve the environment
The use of a colour can be used to communicate a mood. Baked Miller Pink is being used in gaol (jail) to calm inmates. However, like other elements of design, colour can shift meaning from person to person depending on personal experience and wider factors such as culture. That doesn’t mean you can’t use colour to convey meaning but simply relying on colour may not work as well as using a combination of visual codes. That is unless there is a particularly strong connection or instead of relying on a perceived meaning the colour establishes it’s own.
The Design Council created the orange initiative – using colour to help reduce theft, rather than relying on colour perception.
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