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Human Virus

posted on 2023-02-02, 00:21 authored by Maria BatesMaria Bates
Human Virus



Dankook University, Jukjeon Campus, South Korea

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Research statement

Background This project stems from the provocation, how might we brand a virus? addressed through the method of design activism. Design activism aims to shift the position of popular belief systems through the execution of design solutions. Through this methodology, I acknowledged the belief that a virus is seen to be something that invades the human cells or humanity in general. The project flipped this idea and branded the human as the virus in opposition to the virus as an invader to human cells. Contribution The research question of How might we brand humans as a virus? acknowledges a gap in understanding of how design activism affects contemporary branding and design philosophy. This gap means there is little knowledge about proven ways to design graphic representations of a virus. I sought to amend this gap by investigating ways to communicate the effects of a virus as opposed to the virus itself. The outcome was realised through developing typographic elements to communicate the central idea, working with intricate typography features, the baseline, x-height, descender and all formal parts of letters. Significance The significance of this work is my approach to flipping the idea on itself, alongside being competitively selected to present my results of this investigation at the 25th BDAK International Invitation Exhibition held in Seoul, Korea 2022. This is an extension to my research into design activism. Much of my practice explores the use of design as a tool to respond and aid in the prevention of trauma.

Publication classification

JO2 Original Creative Works – Design/Architectural work


NTRO Minor


BDAK - The 25th International Invitation Exhibition


Brand Design Association of Korea

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