Design Manifestos

We can design good things or bad things. We can design intentionally or unintentionally. We can refuse to design certain things in certain ways for certain people. What you won’t do can be as important as what you hope or plan to do.
So, we’d like to know: What’s your Design Manifesto?

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We’d love for you to put on your thinking caps and give us your five point design manifesto. If we like it, we’ll make it into a nice graphic and tweet about it. That’s about all we can promise. But we’re very excited to learn about what design means to all of you!
Read on for some design manifesto research and tell us your design manifesto here!

Spoiler Alert! We took the first round of replies and made a wordle with them. Wordle is an awesome tool for visualizing a text set visually…the words that appear the most are larger and allows a qualitative/quantitative impression to form. It’s clear that Design means helping *make* something, a process that helps solve a problem, to develop something better than what currently exists. We couldn’t agree more!



If you want to do some manifesto research, this might be the classic, O.G. design manifesto: Dieter Rams’ Ten principles for good design

A Personal Favorite: The Cult of Done Manifesto

Bruce Mau’s incomplete manifesto (which is pretty long already!)



What’s your Design Manifesto?


And last but not least, we gave this assignment to some undergraduate design students. Here are a few responses:

1. Solve a Problem
If you’re not solving a problem, it’s not design.
2. Do it without instructions
If your user is confused enough to require a manual, your design has failed
3. Be Honest
Do not begin with a solution and create the idea of a problem to suit it
4. Observe small unwritten intuitions
Humans have an understanding of the way the objects work, the way that a doorknob implies that it should be turned.
5. Do not be clichéd
I.E., A knife holder shaped like a samurai


1. Begin Anywhere
2. Make mistakes faster
3. Consider the environment
4. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything
5. Forget about good


1. Never Hindering usefulness
2. Clean aesthetic
3. Has my own personal charm
4. Timeless
5. Attention to detail


Do help us bring this conversation around what design means to the world:

tweet-graphic-4What’s your Design Manifesto?


Daniel Stillman
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