First Things First – 1 day Project

first-things-first-manifesto-1964In this workshop we delved deeper into what the First Things First manifesto is and its impact that it could have on us as young designers. I would love to think that this manifesto and its ideas are pretty simple to be able to uphold, however I feel that greed, political advantages and lack of knowledge is partly why this manifesto has not been as successful as originally envisioned. The process have been slow, but changes are happening. Designer are becoming more aware of the sustainability of their work and actions, by going back to the basis of what creativity actually is and being responsible for what we put out into to the world, to not feed the corporate consumerism noise. The transition into a culture of sustainability will be most effective if it is a consideration from day one of the design process.

Of course this is a hard feat, consumerism has been in built into us from a young age, more than ever this generation has a need to have things that are not necessary or beneficial, we have been brainwashed into thinking that possessions will enhance our lives. These things that we are consuming are they of good design do they actually make my life better? As I sit here with my apple laptop and my iPhone I think about do these products enhance my lifestyle, yes they are useful tools with work and social life,  however not necessary of great design, (as pointed out by my lecturer today, the iPhone hasn’t been designed to with stand everyday life, I myself have broken the my iPhone screen recently) But do they make me happier, as marketed by apple!!! The answer for myself is no….they are of superficial happinesses, perhaps filling a void for a short time but ultimately they are just things that we possess. They don’t define us, but the work and they way that we live our lives does. Being self aware of our impact of the wide world is something I think about and try to live by.

So to be sustainable within design is to find a better alternative way of doing things, both for the future and the present, becoming aware of the environmental, social and economic limitations we face in society. As a designer I will ask myself what will the effects of my design be upon the wider world?  One way in which to do this is to begin your design at the end! This may sound odd but by thinking about what the message is that you want to convey you can generate the steps to achieve this.

Sustainability however does not just stop at what the message is that we are putting out there, but also how its produced. Is the manufacturing process environmentally friendly? What will be the energy used to produce it? Is the material used made from sustainable sources?

To get our creative sustainable heads on we were given a one day project within groups of 5 to come up with an effective way to market a sustainable design future. To get designers thinking about the bigger picture.

We decided as a group to market towards young designers, as they are up and coming into the design world we could open their eyes to the possibilities of sustainably design which could make a massive impact on the future direction of commercialism and the way in which the world operates.


Above is the initial concept that we came up with. With the use of the road signs we have tried to convey a message that the way forward is sustainable design. By asking a question rather than making a statement leaves the viewer thinking about their position. I think that this kind of marketing would work be most effected placed in design colleges and universities, with the possibility of being placed in design magazines aswell.

This workshop and lecture has really got my mind thinking about the future and how I would like to see myself as a designer. By being a more empathetic designer I can be a change in the world that I have always wanted to be.


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