how will you
design your future?
NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US. This phrase has become a mantra for disabled activists; igniting purpose and emotion. It defines a movement beyond visibility and representation to involvement and immersion. On the set of the first JUNIPERunltd campaign, speaking these words brought tears. Tears that only happen when you are full of pride and awe. An emotional release because something which was once a dream, or an out-of-reach ambition, has become a reality. At JUNIPERunltd, we believe that disabled people are not just the subjects but the architects. That is our definition of designing the future.
The first episode of the JUNIPERunltd campaign brought us almost ten thousand miles from our New York HQ to Wellington, New Zealand. Leveraging the power of the internet to connect us, we virtually visited the Pacific Ocean to collaborate with Grace Stratton, JUNIPERunltd contributor and co-founder of All is for All. Grace has been part of the evolution of JUNIPERunltd since the very beginning; shaping our mission, broadening our vocabulary and introducing us to a whole host of writers and creatives whose words and insights you will see throughout our content.
Grace is an entrepreneur who is acutely aware of the importance of the stories we tell, and how we frame them. Increasing the representation of disabled people is important. Magnifying the visibility of disabled experiences is essential. But, to introduce you to Juniper, we wanted to personify our mission statement: that JUNIPERunltd is a platform that uplifts everyone’s voices. We wanted to co-create the campaign with Grace, crafting space for her to present and produce this campaign in collaboration with JUNIPERunltd.
After first finding a time zone that worked for New Zealand, the U.S. and Ireland, we began to plot our narrative. Through Grace’s lens, we aimed to exhibit the spectrum of disability both on-screen and behind the camera. We wanted to talk about the joy and pride of finding clothes that fit; garments that can help you dress independently and that click closed with magnets. We wanted to discover how that makes people feel and how a community can be created and empowered when designing with them, rather than designing for them.
Grace introduced us to Mamie, Rebecca and Shakti, our three protagonists who revel under the spotlight. Mamie’s infectious giggle, Rebecca’s powerful gaze and Shakti’s cool attitude were parts of their personality that we hoped to capture. We wanted to present them as their full selves, neither erasing their disability nor their personality. We chose to present them through a lens of beauty and agency, but just as they are.
Co-directing the campaign alongside Pictvre’s Veronica Crockford-Pound, Grace and JUNIPERunltd architected the behind the scenes to not just be as diverse and inclusive as the cast, but to be a place where the next generation of disabled talent could be mentored and encouraged. Making their future not just something they could imagine and design, but as a reality that could begin right now.
In our earliest conversations with Grace, we asked her to describe how she would design the future. She said that it would be creating spaces where stories about disabled people can be told by disabled people. This campaign is our attempt to create both a moment and a movement.
We wish for this campaign to inspire you to consider how you would design the future – the resources and changes that are required for you to make what seems impossible an immediate reality. At JUNIPERunltd, we want to be a facilitator for the conversations, products and projects that will help you to design your future, as well as our future.