Design Manifesto


Design Manifesto

What do you believe? 

I believe in a sustainable future and I think all design choices should be influenced by our changing and evolving planet. Thats not to say that we should prioritize function over form, but sustainable materials and thoughts throughout the design process should be at the top of the list. Luckily, the future of design seems to scream simple and minimalist. Elegant and flat designs that could last a life time while also using less product by leaving less excess. We are moving towards a future of sustainability in this way without even realizing it. That’s the beauty of aesthetics and design, survival of the fittest. Design will naturally evolve into the best possible solution. Now we just need to shift the focus to product usage and push the idea of makers into a better path towards sustainability.

This is a topic that was covered in class, but the iterative process in the new way of makers, is troublesome. 3d printing, laser cutting and etching, etc. all use plastic as the core. 3d printing is the one that stands out, as it takes a long time and a print can mess up quite frequently (especially if your name is Markus). Couple this with the process of packaging and shipping and you realize that plastic literally surrounds us, and I would say a good portion of it is then thrown away. So what do we do with all this excess plastic? Can it be recycled? If it can, Is it being recycled? etc. We have a great opportunity to reinvent the way we process and package materials. This is just one of many opportunities we have to reinvent the way we design.

I have listed principles and techniques that I think should be the way to a better and brighter future with a key in environmentally friends design and practices.

Principles and Techniques that will (hopefully) shape our future:

  • Work in such a way that lives by your own morals and ideals. Recognize your personal identity  and your design choices that can create a better future. Build upon your ideas, share them with peers, cooperate, and collaborate with surroundings.
  • Find inspiration in the environment. Celebrate successes and learn from the failures by acting in ecological processes that benefit the longevity of our earth.
  • Preserve the uniqueness of nature and of each site, region, landscape that your product influences.
  • Think locally and act in the benefit of your local communities. Bring the concept of community to a new level and incorporate it into your designs.
  • Make use of resources in the natural environment but be frugal with what you use and make sure you know the impact of what you are design and maintaining. Make use of water and food and take a special care on waste.
  • Make products that make sense and have a purpose to your audience. If it’s nature or a community make sure it leaves an impact yet maintains the beauty of the surroundings of wherever its going to be placed.
  • Make and enhance but allow for expansion in and around your product. Ease of use and the rhythm of the design should be coherent and make sense from all aspects of design.
  • Design to make life easier and more affordable.
  • Consider simplicity over complexity, If you have a certain amount of material make the most use out of it. Excess pieces and parts are put to good use or recycled.
  • Design without borders.
  • Ask hard questions and determine weird and wild responses that free your mind.

Resource Management

  • Use long-lasting materials that can easily be recycled, used again or biodegradable.
  • Remodel existing products and spaces before building new.
  • Use products and materials that can be dissembled and re-used in a different project or materials that can be transported easily.

Land Use and Environment 

  • Support local companies and start-ups, incorporate designs that can accosted environment-friendly activities such as biking, walking, etc.
  • Use natural light, solar and other energy efficient and environmental-friendly ways to power your projects or incorporate them into your design.
  • Use products that are good for human health. Think about who will create, install, maintain, and remove the product.

Lastly, brag to everyone that you have indeed made a project worth your audiences time and make sure to highlight the importance of sustainability in your design. Getting knowledge out about different practices goes a long way to informing the general public about a future for our children and our children’s children. Sustainable design if incorporated into everyday products, projects, houses, roads, waste, communities, manufacturing, packaging can help prolong our future as a species.


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