The V&A has added a series of objects that explore the design identity of Extinction Rebellion (XR) to its collections. XR is a global activist group calling for urgent action on climate change through acts of non-violent civil disobedience and disruption. Since its first public action on 31 October 2018 urging the UK government to declare a climate emergency and commit to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025, XR has grown into an international movement with over 360 groups active in 59 countries around the world.
The objects, given by the Extinction Rebellion Arts Group – a coalition of graphic designers, artists and activists responsible for XR’s Design Programme – reveal how XR has used open-source design to develop a strong visual identity and looked to create a collaborative ‘do-it-together’ movement recognisable across the globe.
These new acquisitions include:
- A digital file of the Extinction Symbol – the logo designed by street artist ESP in 2011 and adopted by XR in 2018
- The Extinction Symbol website where the symbol is available for download for non-commercial use
- A rare, first print-run of a pamphlet issued by XR group outlining its ‘Declaration of Rebellion’
- A digital file outlining XR’s open-source Design Programme, including the Extinction Symbol, Extinction Rebellion woodblock type and other graphics and materials for download
- Two printing blocks – a 3D-printed Extinction Rebellion logotype block and the Extinction Symbol made of machine-cut ply
- A green, blue and pink flag featuring the block-printed Extinction Symbol
- Six brightly coloured printed patches bearing the group’s slogans including ‘Tell the Truth’, ‘Rebel for Life’ and ‘Beyond Politics’
- A child’s high-vis vest worn during a peaceful XR rebellion. This vest will go on show at the V&A Museum of Childhood from Friday 9 August 2019, as part of a free six-month display that will explore how XR – through its design work, values and organisational structure – creates spaces that are welcoming for all.
The objects have been acquired through the V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting programme that enables the acquisition and immediate display of design objects that address questions of social, political, technological and economic change. Since 2014, the Rapid Response Collection has grown to over thirty objects that chart the impact of contemporary design on the world today.
A selection of XR objects can be seen on display in our Rapid Response Collecting Gallery, Room 74a, Level 3