Kristiāna Marija Sproģe
Keywords: Nature, Monoculture, Design
Kristiāna Marija Sproģe is a graphic designer and co-founder of the artist group 3/8 with an interest in multidisciplinary collaboration, invention of new working methods, sustainability, and conceptual and critical thinking. In her work, extensive research is intertwined with the process of developing unique visual languages based on the theoretical and conceptual investigation of the topic, finding the most fruitful processes in self-imposed rules and restrictions, exploring the limited grounds beyond their borders.
Polycultures is a designer’s decomposition of a stereotypical visual representation of nature in global capitalist culture that often takes the form of a fragile, sunny, blue-skied, green grass meadow landscape. Kristiāna Marija Sproģe traces these images to the practice of monoculture farming in industrialised agriculture. By appropriating default design tools as planting machinery and common visual elements used for efficient production of ‘design monocultures’, Kristiāna's work manifests and stimulates the growth of new visual landscapes, accenting the designer's role and accountability in shaping the collective understanding of the environment.
CAN A GRAPHIC DESIGNER CHANGE THE WORLD?
The coming years can determine the future of our existence as a species, therefore this thesis follows a research question of how can I, an individual and a graphic designer, participate in changing the world. As the designer’s creative occupation seems relatively trivial in comparison to politicians, doctors or scientists’ contribution to the modern world, I find it important to understand if a creative individual can meaningfully participate in the fight for a better future at all and if yes, then how it can be practiced. I put forward the hypothesis that changes in the world can be achieved by small measures of individual action. Through extensive research, conversations, practical visual experimentation and participation in the development of a global movement’s graphic identity, it is possible to conclude two main standpoints of the thesis that also happen to be the conclusion of the research — 1) one of the most efficient weapons against the causes of climate crisis are the small, consistent actions and perceptions of an individual; 2) graphic designers undeniably can and are participating in world-shifting processes through both beneficial and destructive professional and individual decisions. Additionally, an unexpected practical research result is the fact that graphic designers’ works are often instruments for other people to use to bring about changes in the world, therefore, in such case, change can happen faster than working idividually, on a much larger scale, and sometimes without graphic designer’s realisation.