Designing Anti-Activism: Apocalypse faster!

Tatu Marttila


This exploratory article reviews literature on design activism and looks into the ways, how design can be used to bring matters to a head in our society. Sustainable design can be perceived as design activism [Fuad-Luke, 2009], as it involves tackling with policies and behaviors, and pursuing of societal benefit. Literature suggests that design activism can be perceived as design exploration [Fuad-Luke, 2009], seeking to provoke, criticize and experiment [Fallman, 2008]. This text studies explorative and participatory design approach in the context of sustainable consumption.

Focus of this article is on a participatory web campaign called Apocalypse Faster! that takes an anti-activist stand against consumerism. Furthermore, the participatory approach taken in the case suggests that in the context of sustainability - which is a contested concept - the design explorations should be made more open to public participation, to better enable societal discourse around the topics at hand. Later on this emphasis could reveal new perspectives for sustainable design.



1. Fallman, D., 2008. The Interaction Design Research Triangle of Design Practice, Design Studies, and Design Exploration. Design Issues, 24(3), pp. 4-18.

2. Fuad-Luke, A., 2009. Design activism : beautiful strangeness for sustainable world. London: Earthscan.


Consumption society; Anti-consumerism; Activism;

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