Marina Willer on why designers should be creating frameworks for accepting political change

The partner at Pentagram on Brexit, family, history and the power of design during these changing political times.

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Graphic designer and filmmaker Marina Willer has worked on some of the world's most iconic brands including The Serpentine Gallery, Tate and Oxfam. She has created brand identities for innovative technology brands, including SAM Labs - the first user-friendly kit for the Internet of Things.

But while she presented this year's Design Indaba Conference audience with a video clip showing some of her work, she also used her time on stage to draw parallels between Brazil (where she is from) and South Africa.

Willer said both countries have similar histories and challenges especially in looking towards an uncertain future politically and economically. Now based in London, which also just went through political uncertainty through Brexit, she believes that designers have a role to play in creating frameworks for people to accept political change.

 "I also believe the world is very much about migration now. Even though some people are building walls and doing crazy things...It upsets me very much and I think design should be more about accepting those changes. We should be creating frameworks to accept change," she said to a packed audience.

For Willer the days of designers being portrayed as lone geniuses working alone at their craft are long gone.

She said: "Design is a collective practice. The days of the designer as the genius are long gone. The idea of sitting in a room and coming up with something on your own are long gone".

This goes a long way in explaining how she found her way towards filmmaking, one of the most collaborative disciplines. The audience was treated to some of her films exploring her family's past as well as its present. Her family was one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during the Second World War. In one emotional short film, she and her brother, take their dad back to his home country for his 75th birthday.

While her other film Red Trees tells the story of how the family survived and eventually ended up in Brazil. With some of the other footage she presented showing her father now interacting with her twin boys, her past and present merge, through her creativity creating a new family framework of its own.