The environmental state of Iran is far from rosy. Pollution is amongst the highest in the world, their groundwater supplies are being overexploited and lack of food security means Iranians are turning veggie (part-time, of course). There is hope however that all these problems could be resolved and the solution may even come in the shape of green graphic design. That’s what the secretary of an Italian design festival titled FeliCity which was hosted in Tehran recently insists. A firm believer in the “power and importance in graphics in ordinary life”, Stefano Meneghetti says that highlighting the problems experienced in urban life can help encourage innovators to explore solutions as well.
Following an invite from the Iranian environment and sustainable development municipality, Meneghetti took the Italian competition to Tehran. Iranian graphic designers were encouraged to submit their work which were exhibited in September. The aim of FeliCity is “to promote a debate around the basic theme of life in the community and how improvements can be made. The competition is an opportunity to express, manifest, symbolize and imagine solutions for a better city capable of improving the lifestyle of its inhabitants.”
Themes which were highlighted include the integration of different cultures and religions, disability as well as nature and safety. However, a lot of the work submitted by Iranian designers focused on the environmental issues facing the country, especially its cities. The FeliCity Festival motto is “Change your city, change your life” and is focused on solutions as much as the problems. Speaking to Tehran Times, Meneghetti said, “although the exhibition does not solve the problems in cities, it affects the minds of citizens [in terms of] how to solve some of the problems in their cities.”
Graphic art can’t save the world, Meneghetti admitted but it can help encourage positive change within the urban environment which many people find themselves living in. In the following post, I will be highlighting some of the best Iranian designs to make it to the competition finals so you can judge for yourself. If you would like to find out more about the event and its work, go to their website here.
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Images of the exhibition courtesy of Majid Hamed Haghdoust.