THEM=US Tote Bags

  • $25.00

This insightful and inspirational IDEA began life in 1992 as an enameled message pin courtesy of the late (great) Tibor Kalman and our other friends at the æM&Co. Design Labs in New York.

M&Co. (founded by Kalman in 1979 and represented in Australia by REMO) dominated a niche in the US for intelligent provoking design for over 15 years.

Tibor appreciated aesthetics but believed that design was mostly useless if it did not also support a message leading to action e.g. THEM=US.

Maira Kalman (Tibor's wife, core collaborator and reputedly the "M" from M&Co.) tells us that the pin's message was originally a reference to Ronald Reagan's non-response to the AIDS epidemic, and an attempted eradication of the perceived wall between the ill and the healthy.

However, we think that the message is BIGGER than any single such application, and can apply to any traditionally polarised situation:

  • Poor = Rich
  • Palestinian = Israeli
  • Black = White
  • Refugee = Resident (See also Boat People)
  • Member = Club
  • Customer = Brand
  • British = European = Global Citizen

ItÍs really just a restatement of the Golden Rule _ an ñethic of reciprocityî that dates backæto antiquity. Basically it involves a person having empathy with others.

And here's another quote from Tibor:

"I am in search of the simple elegant seductive maybe even obvious IDEA. With this in my pocket I cannot fail."

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