London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired branding and design objects created by and for environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion, as part of the institution’s Rapid Response Collection. On display from today (26 July), the objects include a digital file of the XR symbol, a rare copy of the first printed XR pamphlet outlining its “Declaration of Rebellion”, two printing blocks used for making banners during public workshops, the group’s distinctive flags and a number of screen-printed patches featuring XR slogans “Tell the Truth” and “Rebel for Life”.
The V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting programme aims to bring contemporary items into the collection that show evidence of social, technological and economic change. “Design has been key to Extinction Rebellion’s demands for urgent action on climate change,” says Corinna Gardner, the V&A’s senior curator of design and digital. “The strong graphic impact of the Extinction Symbol alongside a clear set of design principles have ensured that their acts of rebellion are immediately recognisable. Punchy colours, woodblock prints, and carefully worded slogans available for download empower members of the public to produce their own creative responses that collectively amplify the XR’s call to action.”
Elsewhere, creatives from the design and advertising industries have come together today to bring adland thinking to large-scale student climate strikes planned for September. The UK Student Climate Network has teamed up with collectives Good for Nothing and Glimpse to develop ideas on how to attract adults to join the largely student-led protests. The aim is to inspire a million people to attend the next day of action, which will take place on 20 September to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit. More than 60 people have joined today’s creative sprint to tackle the brief, with others joining remotely.
The sprint follows an open letter written by Extinction Rebellion in May, which demanded that advertising agencies use their creativity and influence to tackle the urgency of species collapse and climate crisis.