Personal Empowerment, Design, and Corporate Standing
Large Corporations you must admit kind of run things around here. There even was a law that was just passed that allows any corporation or independent party to support any political campaign financially through advertising or otherwise. The court affirmed, "that groups of passionate individuals, like billionaires -- and corporations and unions after Citizens United -- have the right to spend without limit to independently advocate for or against federal candidates (1). There are non-profits that are fighting against this law, such as Democracy 1, an organization who is attempting to with hold the "integrity and fairness of government decisions and elections"(2). There are always two sides of a story, but how does this law affect design, and me personally?
When I heard about this law, I thought, wow I really hope that I won't be involved with a company that supports this. Corporations that advertise their product or themselves as supporting a certain demographic of people will contradict that representation only to benefit themselves. The worst thing of all is that I doubt many people will notice the funding due to how intensely some of these corporate names are engrained into our society. This injustice empowered me to think clearly about what kind of design firm, ideally, I would support and work for in the future. Jobs are rare to find at the present moment but a law like this should not be overlooked when applying to jobs. Design is a powerful tool, and you should only produce work that fits with your morals.
Our speaker from 3M made me realize that even small improvements on a products ethical standing makes a difference. With the car caulker that he redesigned, the small changes he made that reduced chemical leakage and waste gave me hope that some corporations are investing in extensive research to ultimately reduce waste. There are corporations that are supporting design both financially and ethically: interchangeably. The bottom line for me anyway, is that the more I learn about companies and design, the more I am empowered to stand as an individual and design for good. Regardless of how idealistic I seem.