Washington University in St. Louis
Radical Design: Making Civic Experiences
Alternative Value Collage
In Spring 2019, the Radical Design class focused on imagining alternatives to Capitalism. We used a collection of exercises at the beginning of the semester to ground ourselves in the values currently enacted by Capitalism, including a mapping assignment as well as this collage. For the Alternative Value Collage, students were asked to list values prioritized by Capitalism: profit or capital, growth, efficiency, consumption, brand loyalty, etc. Next, the class took a trip to a Whole Foods grocery store to “seek evidence of our Capitalist beliefs and values, and to document this evidence through photography“. Then, they picked an image from their collection, cut it up and reassembled it to create an image of a world that prioritizes values differently.
Andrew Tsuei’s collage above contrasts the “accessibility” of an enticing cooler filled with drinks against “public accessibility to the means of production”, where anyone is able to access materials and produce the drinks for themselves.
Mimi Shang’s collage “removes the branding, color, aesthetic attraction and marketing devices entirely” from this shelf of soda.
*Photo to represent the student’s original, by Denver Post via Getty Images
Sully Bacerdo’s collage connects the beef at the Whole Foods meat counter back to the land where its grown.