Reviewing the Design Disruptors Documentary

Posted 26/09/2016 by Lubna & Maral

We've moved our blog! Click here to keep up to date with us!

On the 6th of July, we attended the much anticipated screening of the documentary Design Disruptors by InVision. It was the European premiere in the London Palladium which nearly filled its full capacity — it’s safe to say that the turnout was fantastic. Well done InVision. We’re sure the mountains of popcorn and the spicy red sweets played a big part here.

For those who don’t know, InVision is a powerful online tool for designers who need to build desktop and mobile prototypes but in a framework that doesn’t need any coding. And of course there are a lot more features to it. Again, well done InVision — the app is great.

Design Disruptors is a documentary that has been in the making for 2 years. The aim was to get insight into companies who are currently challenging conventional business markets using design methods. Sounds like a good idea, right?

When we first heard ‘Design Disruptors’ we imagined a documentary about small and large global business that would address some of the hardest problems people are facing. To be more precise, we hoped to be exposed to the underdogs of the design industry, who are doing sustainable and socially impactful work — that was our understanding of disruptors.

What we saw instead was a movie about the biggest Silicon Valley stars, and how they understood design for themselves in the companies they represent. Companies in the spotlight were Lyft, Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Mailchimp, Twitter and some more.

Facebook for example has what they call a ‘2G Tuesday’ once a week. The staff can experience Facebook through a tough internet connection and ‘feel’ what it might be like to use their service in a country with low bandwidth. Alright we thought, but what do you do with that felt information. This kind of experiment should bring up deeper questions about connectivity and access to information beyond the use of Facebook. This is just one example of the glossy InVision portfolio — we missed a critical voice.

We were definitely motivated, and quickly understood that our idea of disruption was different to what was portrayed in the movie. Fair enough, we think, but we would’ve liked to see more air time for companies such as blackgirlscode, inneract project and other socially driven interventions/ projects/ studios.

Why do we think those mentioned are disruptive? Because they are ethical game changers aiming for sustainable social change. Their work will have a longterm impact on cultures world wide. They tackle stereotypes, conventions, cultures, diversity, gender issues and more, using design thinking. These guys are the true heroes and were sadly underrepresented.

Here is our honest opinion about Design Disruptors:
We wished there were more global businesses or individuals being represented, not everything happens in America :). Next time, cut deeper into the matter — highlight and celebrate failure, criticism and ethics so we can all be better.

Thanks for the invitation and the popcorn, we will be keeping our metallic tickets. ❤