Design Activism:

Public Intervention to Raise Awareness of White Supremacy


  • Carolina Odashima MacEwan University


This project was developed for the course Design Studio III (DESN310) in Fall 2020. It is an imagined public intervention that exposes white supremacy as a hateful and discriminatory ideology, with the goal of educating and raising public awareness of this issue. This idea aligns with the concept of "paradox of tolerance," which stands for limiting intolerant ideologies to preserve society and tolerance itself. The project took inspiration from a white supremacy demonstration in an Edmonton parking lot in September 2020. Although no crimes were reported in that event, if one looks at this demonstration from a semiotic perspective, one understands that it represents oppressiveness and violence against specific communities in our society. This work's concept bases itself on the argument that white supremacist ideology is oppressive. Therefore, it uses crime scene investigation elements to represent the idea of semiotic violence against segments of the Canadian population, and it mimics white supremacist guerilla strategies of repurposing urban spaces to spread their ideology. The project targets a broad audience, showing the urgency of the situation and how threatening this demonstration is for minority groups in Canada, the BIPOC population, and immigrants, who deserve reassurance that they are welcomed and protected in this society.

Department: Design Studies 

Faculty Mentor: Wayne Williams