Design Manifestos?

Tom Peters manifesto has inspired me to write my own on user-centered design.

Anyone seen a good one related to product design?

Droog design had a good one on their web site a few years back. The conceptuals kinda needed these for their work back then. Haven’t seen any recently- I think they may have burnt out on publishing them a few years back.

I always saw a manifesto as a personal thing and very individual. (Where a mission may be better for a company).

It is a great way to boil down what we do into actions and vision. Please post what you come up with.

Bruce Mau’s Imcomplete Manifesto for Change
has been floating around for a while. Sometimes vague and a bit heavy-handed, but I still find many parts of it pretty inspiring:

I have come up with several for myself. Some are more personal than others. The problem I see with all the different philosophies I’ve come up with is that it is hard for me to be consistant from one to the next. This is probably becuase I am still building my experience base and my philosophy toward design is still pretty moldable.

A couple of things I still believe:

  1. Designers must be able to research and learn as much as possible about the given problem, be able to recommend the best solutions to that problem based on that research, and still be able to accept and adapt to the opinions of other stakeholders that see things differently.

  2. Designers are in the business of communicating ideas with different types of people, not just fellow designers.

  3. Designers do not own aesthetics, everyone else does, and its up to the designer to figure that out.

well, I better stop there before I start spouting out less thought out flame bait… Anyay, I’m interested in reading other’s personal statements…

Here’s one:

This is great, keep them coming!

I don’t want to list any of mine just yet, because I don’t want this thread to become fixated on them. Now I am just looking for points of reference. (Next stop: design literature.)

Well, okay, I’ll share one: “The role of design is to make the world a better place.” (I’m appropriating many sources here, but most recently saw Tucker Viemeister saying this.)

Well, I always like this one:

Two manifesto-lists can be found here;

One particularly interesting text is Elimination by design;

Rather than create more ‘green’ things that simply add to ‘consumer choice’ — houses, cars, shirts, shoes, breakfast cereals, lawnmowers, carpets etc. — the imperative is the elimination, by design, of the unsustainable. It is not a question of finding replacements but rather displacement.
Elimination design is not a recipe for economic disaster but the reverse (as a means to create wealth by overcoming the unsustainable while effecting a paradigmatic economic shift from a growth model to one of quality reinvented).

One comment here: replacements can also eliminate rather than add.

Not really a manifesto, but this is the innovation process I use when I design (yep it’s cheesy).

  1. Innovation is sometimes found within the happy accident, but more often, it is found by taking an experience from one area and applying it to another.
  2. If you are stuck, it’s often about asking the right questions, ‘ask not how I can design a better nut cracker, but how I can better crack a nut.’ Asking the right question removes you from looking at existing objects and allows you to concentrate on solving the problem, not restyling an existing solution.
  3. Our past dictates our present informs our future. We cannot go forward without knowing where we have been, otherwise we just end up repeating ourselves – research.
  4. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, again. Find a different perspective, experiment, make mistakes and learn from them.
  5. Consider the whole journey, not just the main act. Manufacture, supply, storage in warehouse, purchase, transportation to consumers location, unpacking, assembly, display, use, cleaning and storage.
  6. If it doesn’t improve upon previous iterations in at least one of the areas mentioned above, then it is not innovative, it’s just being different for differences sake. Back to the drawing board.

Also I found this book really inspiring… ‘what ever you think, think the opposite’ by Paul Arden

Have you read “Shaping Things” by Bruce Sterling? There’s some good stuff in there, might help.