SoGood Design Awards Check-In with Past Winner Derrick Oduro Provisional RGD
Derrick Oduro Provisional RGD, one of the Winners of the 2020 SoGood Design Awards under the category Humanitarian Action & Services, reflects on the impact the Award had on him and his work.
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The first time Derrick entered his thesis project, 'Masculinity is a Prison' campaign, for the SoGood Design Awards in 2018 he did not win. Believing in his work and the importance of the cause, Derrick refined his project and re-submitted it in 2020, winning the second time around.
How did winning the SoGood Design Award add value to or change your work/practice?
My work being recognized showed me that purposeful work created with dedication and hard work pays off! When I re-submitted the MIAP campaign in 2020, I made adjustments to the design, developed apparel and even launched an Instagram handle for the project (@imprisonnomore). This experience taught me to push boundaries, never give up and to be more thoughtful about my work and what I was working to achieve.
Explain your winning project briefly and given a chance, how differently would you do it today?
The MIAP campaign is about young adult men of colour facing difficulties in the areas of mental health and well-being. Using different media to address an ongoing and deep-rooted stigma, especially with minorities, the campaign features a video where a group of hand-picked participants anonymously start this conversation by sharing their experiences, an interactive pills installation and a pocket handbook.
If given a chance, today I would feature a few more voices by conducting more interviews and probably partner with a charity. I am also curious to know what the project would be like if the participants weren't anonymous, showing ourselves, sharing our vulnerabilities and owning our truths.
What does design for social good mean to you?
For me, designing for social good means utilizing the design tools, methods, processes, technologies, history and skills taught to us to recognize and fill the gaps in society with an intention to facilitate progress. The purpose is to provide information, serve the community and help create a positive social change for the betterment of our world at large, no matter how big or small an immediate impact it has.
Considering how the world has evolved in the past 2 years, what changes would you like to see in the design industry, either in Canada or internationally?
As we evolve into almost an entirely new world, I would like to see the Canadian design industry amend the broken and unrealistic hiring system by lowering the experience level required for entry level jobs, specifically for junior designer positions. It is quite distressing for a recent graduate seeking security and stability in their chosen career. Overall transparency with job postings and wages would be a refreshing change. I also hope, we, as an industry, can introduce more initiatives for immigrants and international students who take a courageous leap of faith moving to Canada to seek equal opportunities.
Derrick Oduro Provisional RGD is a multidisciplinary Graphic Designer based in the GTA. A design graduate of OCAD University, his work focuses on branding, editorial design, digital marketing, art direction and photography. He founded D0Media, a multimedia agency offering various services to help bring small businesses’ vision to life, in 2020. Through D0Media he hopes to provide a collective workspace and hub for like-minded creatives, especially marginalized BIPOC to be heard, seen and supported.