Climate Change workshop

12 interactive artifacts to denounce climate change urgency



immagine - Climate Change workshop

In July 2019 we were invited by Università degli studi di San Marino to organize a one-week workshop for the class of Communication and Digital media course.

Since the main topic of the workshop week was civic responsibility, we chose to work with students on the theme of climate change.

The results were exhibited in a final show of 12 interactive artifacts, designed and developed by students, mixing Instagram contents and media informations to denounce the ongoing climate crysis.

“Communication, either visual or not, is political”

The workshop took place at the University of San Marino involving 24 students of the Communication and Digital Media course and lasted 5 days focusing on planning, reviews and development.

We chose to start from a theme that involves students in first person and that will deeply mark their future: the climate change.

Visual communication plays a fundamental role in defining the present and even more in the future of society. Topics such as climate change and the global emergency connected to the fate of the planet must increasingly be at the center of attention. The idea of ​​political responsibility in communication design has allowed students to challenge themselves in the search for strong and conscious messages.

immagine - Climate Change workshop
immagine - Climate Change workshop

Independently developing code is power

The final result of the experience are web pages powered by Instagram feeds, designed and developed in html, css and javascript by the participants.

The students were also able to approach the code development to better understand digital communication nowadays and how it works.

immagine - Climate Change workshop

Divided into pairs, the students started by collecting specific articles and contents, fragmenting the area of ​​interest in order to identify more defined problems.

The emerged issues were many and interesting, such as eutrophication, ocean acidification, water pollution due to the fast fashion industry, the devastating impact of intensive farming, the tropicalization of the Mediterranean, and the wild overbuilding , the ozone hole, but also the new social movements of rebellion and awareness of these issues.

Working with available web contents

After the identification of a concept, the students based their visual research on the concepts of contrast, similarity and consequentiality.

The main design challenge of the activity was to work in the absence of text and to approach the project in parallel with its development in html, css and javascript. It is also fundamental for a student to be able to challenge himself with the design limitations, in this case given by the medium from which to draw for the collection of images: Instagram. Not all the emerged themes could easily be identified within the dynamics of the web communities, as these sometimes reject them, rework them, betray or ignore them.

The process was immediately placed at the center of design as a fundamental element that distinguishes visual design and communication design in general.

immagine - Climate Change workshop

Web pages react to user interactions by generating unexpected and random visual results. Each pair of students ventured into creating their own way of translating their ideas into a strong message to the user. Interfacing with the potential and the limitations of the medium used, the code, the students experimented with intersections, overlaps, chromatic distortions, sudden movements and glitches.