Poster art for season 6 inspired by Russian propaganda posters from the mid-1900's featuring the two series leads in orange and yellow tones

I’m heading to a design-related event shortly in support of Mike Monteiro’s new book Ruined by Design. As I’ve been thinking about it today, it occurs to me that the FX television series The Americans reflects a bit of his thesis about designers taking control of their portion of their work.

In some sense Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, the two Russian spies living undercover as Americans, are very much like designers who have been blindly taking their orders from corporations on high and literally executing those orders (and people) without much regard to life going on around them. As the show progresses, they seem to take an arc much like one that Monteiro might suggest as they begin to question the morality and effects of those orders to not only better live their own lives, but to improve the lives of those around them and even across the world.

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