In-ter Formation

Edna Hirsbrunner
3 min readSep 28, 2020


© Edna Hirsbrunner

Often we look at the word ACTION in the INTERACTION term and so did we in the last session of the theory class. Let’s speak about the INTER prefix this time. This prefix stands, according to Merriam-Webster for between, among, in the midst. Taken word by word this is exactly what interests me in the Interaction Design discipline and why I am studying it at the University of the Arts Zurich. In today’s session the prefix inter was more referred to topics like intersectionality and queer. We watched interesting parts from different videos, films and TV shows like Take a Stand Student Activism in South Africa, The Internet’s Own Boy (a movie about Aaron Swartz), Kimberlé Crenshaw — On Intersectionality and some excerpts about queer topics.

Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality in 1989. The phrase intersectionality was new to me and is really interesting in my opinion. It means the complex and cumulative way in which the issues of multiple forms of discrimination such as racism, sexism and classism overlap, combined, or intersect. Especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. — Merriam-Webster, 28 September 20

The different excerpts showed me as well how different activism can be. How many sides and colors it has and that there is no right or wrong. So many ways of activism exist. As long as an individual or a group of people decide they have a concern that needs to be addressed in some way, most of the times a controversial issue that is supported or opposed, activism happens.

Posters of Activism

One way of practicing activism is through posters. One of the most common mediums for political art is poster making. So as an assignment for today’s class each student had to bring a poster that contributed to inspire, to bring awareness and to awake individuals and collectivity towards action.

Autonomous Design Group for RENT STRIKE

I decided to bring a poster by the Autonomous Design Group addressing the rent strike in London. RENT STRIKE is network of university “Cut The Rent” groups in the UK opposing high rents and poor conditions with rent strikes and other collective actions.

I choose the poster because I like it’s style and because what the Autonomous Design Group is doing inspires me. They are an independent collective of designers, artists and creatives opposed to capitalism and authoritarianism. The Autonomous Design Group maintains that the aesthetic is of vital importance in the terrain of political struggle. They offer artistic support to a wide range of groups movements and all their designs are open-source and editable. The open-source(ness) especially excited me.

Our goal in the mass dissemination of ideas through the street in order to change life. The placing of art onto the street should not just be a one-off thing, a small act of rebellion, photographed and catalogued into an object, which can later be turned into a commodity and sold. Instead posters and stickers should be produced on mass as cheaply as possible, everywhere, repeated thousands of times over, affecting the geography of space, and millions of people’s consciousness.
— Autonomous Design Group, 28 September 20

They reject art as an object of bourgeoise enjoyment, they say that artists mainly only interpreted the world in a certain and again and again different way, the point however is to change it. The collective is influenced by various prestigious groups like Grapus, Atelier Populaire, See Red Women’s Workshop and so on. Their visual style consist collages, strong typography and color palettes. They believe that the usual red and black style of the left is an outdated and out of touch.