Manifestos To Live By


Since this Designism thing, we’ve gotten a few emails asking where people can find more information about this Designism thing. Luckily, there’s a podcast of the evening, so we can listen to it, spout quotes, and pretend like we’re some kind of authority on designing for good.

Or perhaps we should be turning to other authorities on the matter. If you were reading Emigre circa 1999, you saw the issue “First Things First,” where 33 designers reinstated the famous First Things First Manifesto first written by Ken Garland in 1964. Now that the Emigre archives are online, you can also read an essay by Rick Poynor explaining their motivation.

Or perhaps you need something a bit more all-encompassing, yet, also less complete. Try Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto For Growth. Or the manifesto of another Bruce, Sterling’s environment-centered Viridian Design.

Finally, there’s the group of designer-ethicists who are trying to actually identify the good, the bad and the ugly. Milton Glaser’s 2002 chart in Metropolis describes the slow descent into hell. And the folks at After These Messages are promoting responsible communication by asking users to sign in and actually judge others on a Heaven/Hell vs. Hack/Genius matrix.

Whatever manifesto you choose, remember, it will probably work out better than this one.

Thanks to Shel Perkins for his infinite wisdom.