X/0 Design Manifesto

This manifesto is not founded on the typical conceit that an epistemological rupture is happening, and the authors are elected by fate to manifest it. It is not a decalogue for a new mankind. It is simply a set of core values that we will follow into the future. We still hope to manifest the rupture, but we know this will happen only through hard work and fighting for progress. It is this cause to which we dedicate ourselves with the following principles.

  1. We will act as a revolutionary vanguard.
    We will constantly seek out and use the most advanced tools, techniques, and production means that we can seize for ourselves. We will probe the horizon for what’s just beyond. We promise constant experimentation.
  2. We will practice “Third Wave” design.
    Computation is neither a bane nor a panacea. There is no inherent authenticity in denying the effectiveness of contemporary data manipulation tools. But we also reject the popular idea that computation is itself an end goal, that the complexity it allows is inherently aesthetically or intellectually superior.
  3. We will speak clearly.
    As we said, complexity is not inherently superior, but sometimes it is necessary. We will strip our ideas down to their essence, always ensuring that we do not lose the clarity and vitality of their message. 
  4. We will reject normativity and barriers.
    The walls between disciplines of design are artificial, erected by petty technologists in each field to maintain their hegemony. We do not seek hegemony, but constant exploration and expansion of knowledge.
  5. We will act responsibly.
    We will carefully formulate our ideas, considering all the impacts, expected or unexpected, that our design can have on the world.
  6. We will always seek a more direct and meaningful dialog.
    We want our relationship with you to be a partnership, where we are essential to each other. We see a reflection of ourselves in you, and we want to produce for you the beauty and exhilaration we want to see in the world.
  7. We don’t want to solve the “problems” you’re told you have,
    but limn the edge of the possible for those harder define. These are the problems worth solving. In objectifying you, the hegemony believes that it can abstractly predict your needs and desires, chart the course of your dreams. They believe they can tell you what to want and need. We know this is not the case.
  8. We will not take the low road.
    We will not pander with normative dross, cloaked in marketing intended to distract you with a feeling of intangible specialness, for your consumption. We will instead produce things that are well-crafted and unique; which test the boundaries of the available technologies.
  9. We will produce spaces, ideas, and objects intended not for mindless consumption, but for mindful contemplation. We know you can differentiate good design founded on solid aesthetic principles from that based on a flimsy self-mythologizing narrative. Our output is intended to be a substantive enrichment of life, aesthetically and intellectually.
  10. Our creative output will always be inherently ordered, but at the edge of understanding.We want our ideas to help reinvigorate appreciation of the ineffable beauty and goodness in the world.
  11. We are not concerned with an ultimate goal, but with setting a path worth following. If we go together, that path can take us anywhere we want.