What does the design industry mean to all of those who work in it? That is the main questions we decided to investigate to be able to answer. To do that we conducted a study of the working situation for designers based on diversity and equality. And what we found was an industry, divided by gender, that discriminates against age and ethnicity and is characterised by a power elite with similar background, values and aesthetic consensus.
Before our studies, there had never before been proper research about working conditions and power structures within the design area. We wanted to study the active designers’ perspectives on these matters as well as inclusion and exclusion within the profession. We took help from researchers and democracy experts to analyse our data and to get an overview of the industry.
In connection to the realise of our study, we started Omforma nonprofit organisation, that aims to investigate and develop the conditions in the design area. Our work involves politics, research and conversations, focusing on making people’s working life in the design industry more feminist, anti-racist, intersectional and inclusive. Omforma wants to bring about social change for the profession, and ultimately for the users of the products that are the result of our practice.
The work of Omforma (English translation: Reform), targets designers, politicians, companies, organisations and institutions that work within the design field. The association is also addressed to others who want to know how structures of power can affect a small industry or business.
Right now Omforma works with the theme Power. With different methods we observe power, what it looks like, who has it, how one takes it and what power can useful for. Quite a few of our events are public so we hope we get an opportunity to meet!
We want to collaborate, become more active, discuss and learn from each other and arrange events that help to strengthen designers and work for a diversity of people within the industry. Do you want to become a member? Have questions about our work? An idea of a project you could do within our organisation?
Talk, write, text us, you find our contact information here
OMFORMA DESIGN DAYS AND OPEN CALL
Omforma will appear in various events during the year, but the biggest individual happening will take place in the winter of 2018. At Omforma Design Days we’re going to host seminars and workshops inviting all parts of the design field to share experiences and create new knowledge together. In addition, we’re opening an exhibition that embodies the Omforma’s study, and highlights groundbreaking practices and inspirational examples. In order to get as many perspectives as possible, we will curate part of the exhibition and part of it is chosen by a jury following an open call (Application coming soon).