A0: Reflection 1 + Self Manifesto

Reflection

Despite finding some Manifesto to be off-putting and most a little challenging to correlate with being in completely different timelines, it is inspiring how much I can sense the power of their strong will and spirited determinations by just reading through them. Especially as a group, or a rather vast community, to come together and have the same kind of mindset, belief, priority, and willpower to achieve the same set of goals.

I realized the different writing styles within the few Manifesto, each truly perceives the distinct characteristics of the people and the intensity in response to the contextual movements at the time. Marinetti’s seems to be more direct and bold through the bullet points listed as it gives a clearer hierarchy in terms of their priorities, but by no necessary means that one is less than the others. Rodchenko’s style resembles more of poetry, emphasizing some important words or terms along the way but also contains a sort of story which gives out a little bit of context that flows throughout. Moholy-Nagy’s is more of a formal proposal while Gropius’ is more of a set of statements.

Typohoto is a new term I picked up, which definition I find quite captivating and not too foreign when Moholy-Nagy explains the difference between typography, photography, and typophoto. Apparently it is formed through the amalgamation of both typography and photography that delivers a much stronger way of communication. I would say it might be more or less equivalent to the more familiar term, collage.

I have a background in Interior Architecture for my undergraduate degree, so I have less trouble relating to Gropius’ Manifesto in comparison to the previous ones. As much as I want to disagree with him regarding returning to craftsmanship, especially in the modern era of technology right now, but I have to agree. Machines and mass production have made us artisans and designers to lose personal touch with our crafts and designs. It is true that new advanced technologies have helped us to design and build faster, to the point where we have never imagined before, passing beyond our limitations as human beings. It is definitely fascinating knowing how much we have progressed in technology, however, I personally feel more appreciation towards craftsmanship within smaller artifacts than massive buildings that are machine-made.

At last, the article Dematerialization of Screen Space sums up who we are and the kind of spatial paradigms we are living in today. Helfand mentioned how we are the prisoners of our computer screens, trapped in a medium that we have designed for ourselves. Almost, if not everything that we do revolves around it and there is no turning back, at least I don’t think so. Even so, we can only see it in a positive perspective that now we have unlocked new boundaries through the new technologies to achieve better things as designers, so we shouldn’t abuse it. We should do our best in addressing how we will better shape and design an upgraded version of ourselves, our society, environment, and the universe, becoming the new avant-garde.

Self Manifesto

I might not be the best designer out there and I should never aim to be one because there is no such thing as the best, as it will just make me unconsciously start comparing myself to others. Instead, I aspire to be the best version of myself, not just a designer, but also as a person who cares about the society and environment.

  1. Visual design should be both functional and pleasing. Design should not only be aesthetically pleasing in a way to impress others, but needs to fulfill its function and holds a certain meaning for the users.
  2. Empathy is key. I should always put myself in other’s positions whenever designing for a specific group of people in order to really understand their real struggles and remember to always conduct sufficient primary and secondary research before starting the design process.
  3. Perfection does not exist. Learning to let go of the idea of perfection in designing will help to explore and find more dynamism within my designer self.
  4. Will not be involved in any kind of product design that brings no joy or meaning to people and/or not considerate of the longevity of our planet.
  5. Don’t stop iterating. There is no such thing as a perfect design as that would be invisible. Keep on iterating even if at some point you think it is enough, as nothing is ever enough.
  6. Stop comparing. Neighbor’s grass will always look greener from my point of view but you never know what is going on internally, so just focus on yourself because everyone has different pace within their lives and you only have time to focus on yours.
  7. Be open-minded. Learn to take in any kind of feedback, no matter positive or negative ones, from literally anyone without being selective of their level of professionalisms because everyone has their own opinions and views.
  8. Never give up. It is okay to fail at some points but the most important thing is not to drop your design tool and leave it on the ground. Learn to pick it up and rise from failures.

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