The Community Press – Graphic Design and Public Communication in Speculative Low-Tech Societies
What if the future holds a world-shaking catastrophic event – such as climate breakdown, a collapse of economic and political systems, a nuclear war, etc, that will disrupt the development of technology and society as we know it today (in the global north)? What if we face a future with an unstable, strictly limited or non-existent power supply or internet? What if development of technology eventually takes a giant backwards leap? What would the new normal in daily life and practice be like? A scenario of utopia in dystopia. How would graphic design and public communication function and look like in such a scenario?
This what-if scenario was a starting point and guide through the research I have carried out in the degree project ’The Community Press – Graphic Design and Public Communication in Speculative Low-Tech Societies’. With the project I have aimed to examine the role of graphic design, public communication and written language in relation to urgent political or environmental challenges. I have been doing so by situating the project in a speculative scenario where I let the designed objects visualize and mediate the story. The outcome is the concept of a community press in this speculative context, where typography and text messages formed by participatory co-speculation in the setting of a low-tech printing workshop mediates the scenario. The format is a hybrid of a speculative scenario with a functioning printshop, participatory workshop and live printing performance, addressing common life and communication in speculative low-tech societies, without access to electricity or modern technologies.