Occupy Wall Street

Data-driven Design

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=107931 Occupy Design, a new website to connect designers and protestors in the Occupy Movement, was born as a result of three hackathons in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC.  On October 14th, San Francisco-based designer and activist Jake Levitas organized the three events in order to bring data to the people and power to the movement.

Based on the philosophy that “It’s a lot harder to argue with statistics than it is with talking points,” Occupy Design hosts several images to both standardize and make more succinct the messaging of the protestors.  Some of the designs even help with the simple logistics of such a movement – need a bathroom, a place to sleep, a trash can?  Standardized signs will show you the way.  Protestors can go to the website, download the imagery, print it, and carry it to gatherings on the street.  Designers can go to the website, check out the list of requests, and create images for the people in the streets.  It’s a simple use of technology to organize, standardize, legitimize, and make more efficient a popular movement.

The mostly black-and-white images paint a starkly black-and-white picture of the state of the American union: the top 1% of earners have more wealth than the bottom 95% combined and something must be done to re-equalize the nation.  What’s not yet black and white is exactly how this could or should be achieved – a set of objectives that, once formulated, could benefit from Occupy Design’s message framing expertise as well.  Now, which tech solutions will enable millions to draft a set of concise objectives?

- Terra Curtis