Let’s say I did buy one of these posters: what on earth am I supposed to do with it? Hang it in my living room like some overly aestheticized/sanitized symbol of a blindly horrific natural disaster that I had no direct experience of? Or, worse, as some sick, bragging monument to my own willingness to “help”?
It’s not impugning Signalnoise’s motives to ask these questions, but it does make me wonder if the designer fully thought through everything that the project implied before starting it. If not, we can hardly fault him—the first response to any tragedy is always emotional, for better or worse, and the urge to just dosomethinganythingNOW is a powerful one.
But then, shouldn’t our desire to donate come from actual compassion, not as a side effect of our fascination with pretty artifacts? Indeed it should. Of course, there are a lot of things we should do out of basic human decency that often go undone. So maybe projects like these are just coldly efficient, making lemonade from lemons. Yes, the actual product is unavoidably, fundamentally grotesque if you look beneath its tasteful surface.
(via Is This Poster to Aid Japan’s Tsunami Victims a Crime Against Design?)