The design research

Social design solutions being proposed by graphic designers seemed rare. Designer Renate Boere decided to take matters into her own hands by researching how to set up a social project and simultaneously write about it.

Why? Because the image of the graphic designer still is that of a glorified artisan who loves to design an aesthetically pleasing cover, poster, or website. This is partly because graphic designers are not very good in selling their profession and their valuable contribution to developing solutions for complicated problems. Also, because it is so hard to understand that it takes a significantly long time to develop a simple but clear communicative design. And, unfortunately, that no paying client is waiting for socially involved, innovative ideas from graphic designers.

Researching and writing

What happens when graphic designers live up to the part of playing an important role in rendering ever more complicated information transparent and understandable? Renate Boere dove head first in the world of project management lingo, confidentiality statements, copyright, complicated contracts, the search for stakeholders and grand applications, in order to find answers and stress the urgency of the contemporary hybrid practice of graphic designers. The result is published in Beyond Design and Beyond Design, the Game of Social Solutions.

publication Beyond Design

The time has come in which graphic designers are playing an important role in rendering ever more complicated information transparent and understandable for a wider audience. Beyond Design (2020) is a designer’s non-fiction novel written during the Master Design that provides insights into the contemporary, often hybrid, practice of the multi-talented designer.

The new practices

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Beyond Design, the Game of Social Solutions

While writing the designer’s novel Beyond Design, Renate Boere discovered 10 steps that are part of this contemporary design process. Beyond Design, the Game of Social Solutions (2020) guides you to set up your own socially relevant design project. This game navigates you through the 10 steps of setting up a project based on your idea.

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Designing Lightness

The publication Designing Lightness (2020) provides a renewed view on lightness and how the world might benefit from it. Lightness concerns saving energy through weight reduction of just about everything, by rethinking structures with a sophisticated composite approach. The book cross references disciplines, regions and eras. Not only is this message transferred in the content of the book written by Ed van Hinte and Adriaan Beukers, it is also clearly visualized through the design by Studio Renate Boere.

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The PartyPointer

The PartyPointer (2017) is a multidisciplinary interactive installation. Its purpose is to discuss complex issues about politics in a neutral, accessible and fun way. By segregation in cities and social media bubbles we understand each other less and less. It’s important to improve this. The PartyPointer is a method of informing citizens in public space about politics and to encourage discussion with fellow players. The interactive game is an idea and design by Studio Renate Boere, which has been developed in collaboration with ProDemos, House of Democracy and Rule of Law. The goal is to inform citizens in a low-threshold way about politics and to give advice about which political party suits them.

(Inter)national lectures and workshops

Lecture Reading the Future, Frankfurter Buchmesse (2016)
Lecture Radicaal Nieuw Perspectief, BNO Amsterdam (2017)
Lecture BNO Utrecht (2017)
Workshop Backfire, Art Zaanstad (2017)
Lecture Special Guest at De Monsterkamer (2017)
Workshop A glorious plan in mixed media, Off Course, Minerva Groningen (2018)
Workshop International Design Week Jalandhar, India (2019)
Lecture Integrated Antwerp, Belgium (2019)

Awards for Beyond Design

2019: Golden German Design Award, for ‘Excellent Communication’
2018: Best Dutch Book Designs, Stedelijk Museum, for ‘Best Artist Books’
2018: Nomination International design Award for ‘Best Artist Books’
2018: Nomination Haagse Vernieuwers 2018 for ‘Best innovative idea’
2017: Nomination International design Award for ‘Best Artist Books’
2016: Silver at European Design Award for ‘Best Artist Books’
2016: Bronze International design Award for ‘Best Artist Books’

The designer

foto Maurice Hamming

Renate Boere is a research based graphic designer for the cultural and social sector.
Studio Renate Boere has been initiating research projects with a focus on how to solve complex social questions through design since 2008. Over the past years, Studio Renate Boere has won several Dutch, European and International Design Awards. 
Renate has been working as a design teacher at several (inter)national art academies.

Hybrid (graphic) design is a valuable weapon against decay and indifference, and a vital catalyser for innovation and progress.

Studio Renate Boere