05 October 2011

Make Me A Manifesto

(image source: Ken Garland)

The idea of the manifesto in design is not a new one and this isn't the first time I've written about it. If you didn't know this already, there's a growing list of them that you can reference.

Today, after talking about the Futurist Manifesto (1909) in Design Culture class, a group of second year design students got to contemplating what they might address if they were going to create a manifesto for this time. Here are a few they came up with:

1. Make it beautiful
2. Make it environmentally friendly
3. Make it sustainably functional
4. Make it easier
5. Make it evocative
6. Make it cross-cultural
7. Make it fix problems
8. Make it simple
9. Making something mediocre is okay. It doesn't always have to be the newest thing.
10. Make it human
11. Make it understandable
12. Be future-aware
13. Wear it in rather than wear it out
14. Get rid of the unnecessary

We also discussed how manifestos were typically made by the "periphery" as a reaction against something. From this point, we wondered, "What is this generation reacting against and how would that impact our manifesto?" For some, they figured that:

a) the manifesto is dead
b) they hadn't actually encountered a revolution that they needed to react against.

Two notable points as I consider the future of the next generation of designers. In light of this discussion, I wonder how you might respond? If you were to create one today, what would it include? Do we still need a manifesto?