"Can designers save the world?"

Ahead of the launch of our Good Design for a Bad World initiative, Dezeen editor-in chief Marcus Fairs asks, can designers make a difference when it comes to global challenges like climate change, terrorism and political shocks?

Can design save the world? No really; can it? Issues such as climate change, refugees and pollution seem to be defeating governments, global agencies and other organisations that are supposed to find solutions, while Donald Trump is single-handedly reversing progress on many of the issues designers care deeply about. So can design step up to the challenge?

This is the question I'll be asking during Dutch Design Week this month, where I've been appointed the first-ever international ambassador. My contribution to the week is a series of talks, called Good Design for a Bad World, that will explore how design is addressing the really big issues the world faces.

For a long time it felt as if the design world had lost its moral compass, turning its back on social, political and environmental issues. Designers seemed instead to seek fame for its own sake and frittered their problem-solving talents on trivial or indulgent projects....more