There is a long tradition of artists and designers setting out what they believe is right, both in terms of their profession and more broadly, society. From The Bauhaus Manifesto to First Things First to The Riot Grrrl Manifesto, these public declarations of the intent have at the very least brought paradigms into sharp focus.

I am hovering at the edge of the illustrious group that came before me, by creating my own, personal, design manifesto. I call it Manif.es/to.

MANIF.ES/TO

  1. Question everything. Never blindly accept a premise. Solutions should be sought to problems, not to existing solutions.

  2. Believe in the idea, or find a new one.

  3. Research. Do not assume that the best answers are to be found in your own mind.

  4. Prioritise socially driven enterprises and projects that you believe will bring about positive change.

  5. Be honest. Never seek to manipulate or deceive.

  6. Elevate that which will add value to society. Do not waste effort manufacturing demand for that which is worthless.

  7. Collaborate. Exchange ideas and knowledge. Strive to involve and evolve the wider community.

  8. Perspective shift. Avoid privileging your own perspective. Seek other perspectives. Iterate.

  9. Respect human effort. Make any experience one worthy of the user’s time.

Manif.es/to v1.0

Sam Smith

Designer, coder & photographer. Works at Mint Canary & Open Knowledge.