Partnering with designers for human rights defenders
Can design help human rights? On Monday 19 March, Justice and Peace and We Are Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project, We Are Human Rights.
On Monday 19 March, Justice and Peace and We Are Foundation with Bernhard Lenger signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project, We Are Human Rights.
We Are Human Rights is a collaboration between designers and human rights defenders from the Shelter City initiative that seeks to contribute to the betterment of human rights. Through the creation of new solutions and tools, designers involved in the project hope to contribute to global change in the fields of international law and human rights.
Eindhoven-based designer, Bernhard Lenger, founded the We Are Human Rights project with fellow designers in 2017. Lenger’s interest in international affairs can also be seen in his previous work, the Ecocide Law. For Bernhard, design can help human rights and the work of human rights defenders because “design can be easily destroyed, but it can just as easily be remade, and remade again.”
“Both professions are working not for themselves but rather try to improve life for all of us.” – Bernhard Lenger, designer
Via the We Are Human Rights website, the project sees the professions of human rights defenders and designers as “changing our environment for the better, by creating and inspiring development”. Whereas designers are described as the “professional problem solver”, human rights defenders are described as having “the knowledge and experience with the problem”, making the two an ideal match.
Back in October 2017, Shelter City guests joined Bernhard and other designers in Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week 2017. Two workshops were held during the day for Dutch design students and creatives, in which former Shelter City guests Lottie from Nicaragua and Midhat from Sudan presented about their work and situations.
On April 19, the We Are Foundation will be hosting a Design and Human Rights Forum in Eindhoven. The goal of the Design and Human Rights Forum is to brainstorm about ways in which design can support human rights defenders in their practice. For more information on how to attend, go to the Facebook event page here
Read the story we published about Bernhard