Re:act 2021 x London College of Communication

Created by Australian design agency Hard Edge, the Re:act project returned to London for the second time this February, challenging students to design responses to road safety issues amongst 18-25 year olds. This years theme, Vulnerable Road Users and Drivers, focused on those that interact with the road system but have a lot less protection than that of a car user. Numbers of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have dramatically increased in recent years and interaction between motor vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRUs) are on the raise. The aim of this years project is to increase the sense of shared responsibility between different road user groups and changing behaviours to reduce crashes involving VRUs.

BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity graduate Agota Rencsenyi has had her campaign ‘We are all fragile under our shells’ selected as this years winner!

We caught up with Agota to discuss working on the project, her creative practice and collaborating with Re:act and Hard Edge.
Hey Agota! Congrats on producing the winning campaign! Can you tell us what drew you to the brief and the opportunity to work with Re:act?

I was always fascinated by how design as a tool can be used to change people’s behaviours, this is the focus of Re:act's briefs so it was a great way to exercise this practice.

How would you describe your creative process?

My creative process normally involves visiting galleries and museums, looking at books and spending as much time as possible in the relevant research places with my camera to gather inspirational materials. The pandemic has really challenged this process and taught me how to analyse and pay attention to small details.
How did you initially begin to work through the brief and brainstorm your ideas… where did your inspiration come from?

When I first started to think about the visual aims of this project I began by putting myself into the shoes of the person who is going to look at the posters. I was looking at artists’ and designers’ work which felt simple and effective. Through my research I was more and more drawn to collage artists’ work because with this technique they are able to bring two worlds together which is perfect for grabbing attention.
What was it like working with the client?

Working on this brief with Re:Act was an incredible experience. I am very grateful for their guidance and clear feedback throughout the whole project. They not only made me realise how important it is to talk about road safety but also challenged me to think about my own biases, as well the part I have to play as both a designer and a road user.

Can you talk us through the meaning of your campaign and how your research and development resulted in the final piece?

Looking and analysing different road safety campaigns both from Re:act and other organisations really helped me find the direction for my campaign. I grouped my key research findings into three categories which later became the characteristics of my brand. These aims were: Positivity, Empathy and Shared Responsibility. The idea for the concept came from a personal memory. When I was learning how to drive back in Hungary my driving teacher was a retired police man who was very passionate about road safety. Instead of VRUs he always used the word ‘molluscs’ to highlight their fragility and softness of their bodies. The campaign draws attention to the fact that not everyone has the same ‘shell’ or protection on the road, and that we are all fragile regardless of how we choose to travel.
Agota's campaign has launched in almost 50 retail and roadside advertising spaces in London, thanks to Ocean Outdoor. The project is also supported by FIA Foundation, Transport for London and Zurich.

Related Links:

Find out more about the Re:act Project
Discover work from the Business and Innovation team at LCC
Explore LCC’s Design School