What could a Union do for Graphic Design?

14 June 2018


Venue: Evening Class, 48 Aberfeldy St, London E14 0NU

Organiser: Evening Class

Evening Class is a self-organising design education experiment in London, and a flexible environment where participants cultivate common interests, develop research and collectively shape the class’s agenda. Participants reflect on their practices in wider cultural/social/political contexts within London’s different landscapes, finding audiences to learn from and engage with. The curation of the classes take many forms, exploring different themes – including speakers and mentors. The group’s evolution is intended to be transparent and publicly observed, with resources widely accessible. Evening Class currently consists of 28 participants from different educational and cultural backgrounds. It is a collectively self-supporting group.

Do you know your employment rights?

What existing unions could designers join?

How can you strike when you’re self-employed?

What is a workers’ co-operative?

What can we learn from past attempts at unionising creative work?

What are our shared demands across creative disciplines?

How should we begin surveying our working conditions?

Following on from Against Undisclosed Salaries, an open letter we sent to creative jobsboards, Evening Class will present research into unionising and co-operative working structures, including historical precedents and possibilities for the future.

The event runs in parallel with the first Workers Inquiry: Architecture open meeting in May 2018. We intend to identify the intersectional aspects of different forms of creative employment, in order to form an active community able to hold employers to account.

The event aims to bring together those already actively researching and reshaping the conditions of creative work; artists whose practice reflects and comments on artistic labour, activists surveying and reforming the material conditions of working within the cultural landscape, union representatives, and members of existing workers’ co-operatives.

The event will culminate with a wider discussion, collectively drafting a series of demands. What do we want to know and what do we want to change?