First Things First: a design manifesto 1963, 2000 and 2014


 The ‘first things first’ manifestos (issued first in 1963/4 then in 2000 and most recently in 2014) all call for designers to refocus: away from advertising and towards more ‘worthy’ projects. The 1963 wish list of ‘worthy’ projects includes scientific and industrial publications. The 2000 version emphasises the need to address ‘unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises’. In 2014 it is ‘education, medicine, privacy and digital security, public awareness and social campaigns, journalism, information design, and humanitarian aid’ that are worthy, and designers are invited to ‘transform our systems of finance and commerce, and reinforce human rights and civil liberties.’ 

To my mind, the need to use design at every stage of the social scientific research process is implicitly included in all three calls, none of which has been wholeheartedly answered to date.


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