Name, first nameRoman ErnstYear of birth87UniversityZHDKField of Interest / research fieldCommunication Design / Visual CommunicationTitle of projectVisual Democracy. Engaging through AestheticsAbstractDirect democracy requires Swiss citizens to vote on complex political issues on a regular basis. This institutional setup depends on the existence of a versatile, independent and transparent media system and furthermore demands a high political competence of Swiss citizens.
Given the rapidly changing Swiss media landscape, the importance of visuality and the fashion cycles of media are growing evermore important. Both have a strong influence on the design of political communication. On the side of political actors, such as parties and interest groups, communication aims merely to engage voters to say «yes» or «no» – it’s pure advertisement. Therefore their visual output moves within the rather narrow range of political advertisement.
On the other side it becomes more and more difficult for citizens/voters to sharpen their political competence. Taking its point of departure in a design perspective, this thesis believes in the constructive (political) power of images and graphic design and aims to develop visual statements that embrace progressive dreams of people and fuel their fantasy for a better future. The aim of these visual statements is not only to visualize political opinion but to stimulate the inner political discourse of viewers and therefore to help them sharpen their political competence.
TutorsThomas Wolfram, Jonas Vögeli