Designers try their hands at human rights issues in seven countries: Sudan, Nicaragua, Colombia, Russia, Kenya, Mexico and Burundi

November 9, 2018

Seven designers work with human rights activists to develop tools for change

We Are Human Rights is a project spearheaded by Dutch designer Bernhard Lenger. He paired seven designers with human rights defenders from around the world and asked them to work together to develop tools for change. The results, which were showcased in an exhibition for Dutch Design Week 2o18, tackled issues ranging from illegal settlements in Nicaragua to the criminalisation of homosexuality in Burundi. Lenger first launched We Are Human Rights at Dutch Design Week in 2017. In an interview with Dezeen at the time, he said that designers can’t solve real-world problems on their own. “We are only a small cogwheel in an enormous machine,” he said.

“We are investigating new opportunities for design, to identify where designers can play an important role in our world,” said Lenger. “With these seven projects we are showing a variety of how design and international topics can come together, but also want to invite governments and private organisations to work together with us,” .

Each team was given three months to devise a solution to one particular issue.

The first project, How I Became an Ally from Not Giving a Shit, is by Rotterdam-based designer Daeun Lim. It is a digital platform that connects those who are interested in human rights activism in Kenya.

We Are Human Rights projects
Dauen Lim’s project is a digital platform that connects those who are interested in human rights activism in Kenya
We Are Human Rights projects

One Response to “Designers try their hands at human rights issues in seven countries: Sudan, Nicaragua, Colombia, Russia, Kenya, Mexico and Burundi”


  1. […] Born in Austria but now based in Eindhoven, Lenger often takes a political stance through his work. We Are Human Rights is the first instalment in his We Are initiative, which he describes as a platform for tackling issues through “design thinking”. Designers can’t solve real-world problems on their own, according to designer Bernhard Lenger, whose latest project sees creatives team up with human-rights defenders to develop tools for change. See: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/11/09/designers-try-their-hands-at-human-rights-issues-in-sev… […]


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