Dezeen Magazine

Architects and designers launch fundraising initiatives to support Ukraine

Design studio Formafantasma and architectural photographer Edmund Sumner are among creatives selling work and raising money to help people affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced as a result of Russia's invasion of its neighbour. In response, architects and designers launched numerous projects to raise money to help those affected by the war.

These range from an auction on Instagram by London-based designer Marcin Rusak to an initiative by photography group Mass Collective, which is selling prints to raise funds.

"We believe that our community can achieve great things when there is unity of intents," said the collective.

Below are seven initiatives that have been set up to show solidarity with, and offer practical help to, the Ukrainian people.

A Print for Ukraine by Mass Collective 

London-based photography group Mass Collective has set up A Print for Ukraine, a fundraising initiative running from 17 to 27 March. Proceeds from the sale of architectural photographs will go to the humanitarian organisation The British Red Cross, which is assisting those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

Both established and emerging global photographers have contributed images of the built environment to the open-call project, which include a poignant yellow and blue slide from Crimea captured by Anna Kroeger and a snapshot taken in France by Simone Bossi.

"As a photography collective, we wanted to find a way to contribute to the Ukrainian cause through what we do best: our photographic work," Mass Collective co-founders Luca Piffaretti, Francesco Russo and Henry Woide told Dezeen.

"Among all the donated images, receiving artworks from photographers from both Russia and Ukraine has been a spark of hope in this time of conflict."

Vase by Formafantasma

International Creatives for Ukraine

A ripped yellow vase from Formafantasma's Clay collection features in International Creatives for Ukraine, an auction taking place on Polish designer Marcin Rusak's Instagram.

The proceeds earned from the project, which runs from 14 to 31 March, will be donated to Fundacja Ocalenie, a Poland-based foundation that helps refugees and migrants rebuild their lives.

Other auctioned works include a piece from Faye Toogood's Dough ceramics collection and sculptural lighting by Bethan Laura Wood.

Rusak, who runs his eponymous studio, told Dezeen: "We believe that everyone can use their assets to help people in need and have been overwhelmed by the support we've received from the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, Georgia, the Netherlands, and even Ukraine itself."

Babak Ganjei poster

Today's Specials by Babak Ganjei

Artist Babak Ganjei raised £40,000 in one week by selling 1,000 hand-painted posters for those affected by the conflict, which he donated to Ukraine crisis funds set up by The British Red Cross and refugee-focussed charity Choose Love respectively. The artist has also donated to a fund by Type One Style, which raises money for people with diabetes.

Ganjei redesigned a poster resembling a menu board he made several years ago, by changing one of its words from the name of dish Chicken Kiev to spell Ukraine's capital city's name in Ukrainian – Kyiv. The work sold out almost instantly.

"I already had this piece of work which simply required changing Kiev to Kyiv," he told Dezeen. "In difficult times it can feel difficult to make jokes even though this is often when they are needed most. It turned out that in times of great urgency, a joke can be quite valuable."

Edmund Sumner photograph

Photographs by Edmund Sumner

Architectural photographer Edmund Sumner also took to Instagram to sell his photographs in aid of the Ukrainian people – the proceeds of which he donated to Caritas, a refugee-focussed organisation.

"I chose the images that I felt resonated with Ukraine both in colour palette and mood," Sumner told Dezeen, who has sold images ranging from a modernist theatre and a geometric high court in India by Le Corbusier to a Japanese tea house built by architect Terunobu Fujimori.


Derzhprom merchandise by Adam Nathaniel Furman

London-based designer Adam Nathaniel Furman has created a series of merchandise that features an illustration of Derzhprom, a modernist complex of 1920s skyscrapers in the city of Kharkiv.

Available as a tote bag, mugs, prints and a mousepad, Furman is donating all of the profits made from the sale of these products to the Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine humanitarian appeal.

"This is a simple fundraising effort, while simultaneously celebrating one of the world's greatest pieces of urbanism and architecture in a city that is suffering terribly," the designer told Dezeen.

"The Derzhprom is a massive and completely unique complex of skyscrapers – the largest ever realisation of the constructivist vision of modernity, a masterpiece of visionary architecture on an unprecedented scale that has marked the centre of this great city for nearly 100 years."

Kork by Minimalux

British brand Minimalux is also donating 10 per cent of the revenue made from the sale of its Kork table lamp to Disasters Emergency Committee's Ukraine appeal, a fundraiser that the brand says will continue "indefinitely whilst the country is in crisis and its people need our help".

Available in either a regular or blackened cork finish, the lamp is formed from cork and handblown opal glass. "Cork is a natural, environmentally friendly material that biodegrades completely and can be easily recycled without producing any toxic residues," Minimalux said of the design.

Agnes fundraiser

Agnes Furniture Raffle by SCP 

British furniture brand SCP is running a raffle selling furniture from London studio Kay + Stemmer's Agnes collection in support of Ukraine. The raffle will raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee's humanitarian appeal.

The pieces in the collection include a low-slung wooden coffee table and minimalist shelving. Participants can enter the raffle by purchasing a £10 ticket, after which a winner will be chosen on 31 March when the competition closes.

The main image is a print of Palazzo dello Civiltà Italiana by Francesco Russo, sold as part of A Print for Ukraine.

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