🍋 9/22. Clara Balaguer: Locality & the Vernacular
6.00pm – 7.30pm | All Sections
All cohort guest presentation & Q&A

Clara Balaguer is a cultural worker. She is the coordinator of the Social Practices course at Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam and teaches Experimental Publishing at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. In the Philippines, she co-founded Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage industry publishing hauz, and The Office of Culture and Design, a research platform and residency program that articulated cultural programming with rural and underserved communities. Through her projects, she is interested in the value of vernacular material culture and processes of collectivizing authorship. She often adopts collective or individual aliases that intimate her service in a given project, the latest of which is To Be Determined


💬 Group Discussion

7.50–8.40 | All Class
Discussion led by Tina (First Things First) and Ruolin (Manifestos—A Manifesto)

Add 3 questions from First Things First and Manifestos—A Manifesto  before WE, 9/22 @ 12pm ET:
First Things First
Manifestos—A Manifesto
Shinee Wang
  1. In this consumerist age, how do we, as designers, find a balance to use our skills to create valued experience for users and make profit? 
  1. If you are working on a company that does not match your ethic design value, what will you do?
  1. The reading mentions that Manifestos embrace paradox. Do you notice any paradoxes in your manifesto as a designer and as a individual? If so, were they intentional or by accident?
Tina Li
1/ Do you think the designer's design purpose is to convey value or make exquisite vision? (product or brand value, social value)
2/ If a design is divorced from the value itself, can it be used for a long time?
There are many forms of Manifestos, which trigger people's thinking, but can Manifestos really change some facts going to a good way?
Dong Xia
  1. When you find a job in the future, and the stakeholder or your supervisor ask you to design something you have a different opinion on it, how do you deal with it?
  1. Making a design that you don’t like for the public market, or making a design that you like, but most people may not have the same aesthetics as yours. What will you choose?
  1. Manifestos are meant to be conflict. If you are using manifestos as an advertisement, should you add more controversial elements in your design and your adverisement?
Ruolin Fu
Make commercial designs with higher income VS Do some meaningful designs with lower income, which one will you choose?
  1. As a designer, do you think it significant to contain some manifestos in your work. 
  1. Can you share a story of yourself as an example of one of those traits. That could be your design work, a specific experience, etc.
Mark Huang
  1. If we are hired with the purpose of attaining business goals, what do we do if business goals and meaningful design goals clash?
  1. How do you deal with designing a product you don’t agree with?
  1. If manifestos exist to challenge and provoke and they are seen as advertisements, do you think manifestos create more conflicts or more unity among people?
Tegwen McKenzie
  1. “Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak…”’

  • The excerpt belittles graphic designers who design primarily for advertising. Is this really the problem of the designer? Or is it something bigger, like a problem concerning the number of companies/products that oversaturate the market? Or perhaps laws surrounding advertisement?

  1. This manifesto speaks primarily of graphic designers, and how their skills can be put to more “worthwhile use”, but does not address the other types of designers that exist. What are the different kinds of designers that do address human-centred design issues, and more forward-thinking, innovative design, etc.? 
  1. The malleability of the manifesto means it can take on just about any form. Would a public protest or strike be considered a form of “group” manifesto? Are there other forms of shared manifestos?
Yining Zhu
  1. In this reading, the author talked about instead of paying too much attention to commercialism, designers should focus on creating human-centered designs that can benefit everyone. In today's commercial world, do you think there is an inverse relationship between overly marketing a product and the quality of a product?
  1. As a designer working in advertisement, are you responsible for the product you advertise when you don’t believe in it? 
  1. Social media allows us to post something short very easily. It seems like everything we post can be seen as a manifesto. Does that mean manifestos are overly used now? And do manifestos lose their meaning when there is so much unnecessary information distracting us? 
Karan Chowdhary
  1. The manifesto talks negatively about designing for advertisements. Isn’t a lot of the mentioned products in some way for the betterment of society? Doesn’t that mean that designers indirectly, are already playing an important role in improving the way we live?
  1. A manifesto is a declaration of your beliefs, principles and values. It’s also quite possible that these change with time. Can manifestos be ever-changing and dynamic, relative to the times we go through?

  1. As these declarations contain strong values and principles of an artist/designer, one could take years to develop and find themselves. Is there a right time to write a manifesto? or should you be able come up with it at any point in your life?
Vern Liu
  1. As designers, graphic designers specially, how do we enhance the value of our design, and maintain creating purposeful design when we working in a commercial environment.

  1. Is design value overrated? I often see that "design” is presented as the panacea for our society. For some designers "design" perhaps just a method of expression they prefer to use.
  1. If manifestos are advertisements, what is the main different between a manifesto and a mission statement?
Thao Tran
  1. We all know that human needs keep changing and evolving. Should designers maintain their practices and values or run after the development of society? 
  1. Should designers focus too much on manifesto and let it override their actual practice of work considering manifesto works like a pitch?
  1. Would one be considered inconsistent in practice/style if he keeps updating his manifesto? Would it affect his career path?
Jess Chen
  1. What is your design process when you create a project that you feel comfortable with?

  1. If manifestos embrace products, what about advertisement?
  1. A good manifestos is always theatrical, is there a specific reason why and is that a must?
Samantha Laite
  1. Do you believe the growth of capitalism and the focus put on creating earnings has interfered with designers/creators?
  1. Are Mission and Vision statements short forms of Manifestos? 
  1. Would they (Mission/Vision Statements) be more effective as they short succinct and can ultimately evolve?
Grace Yang
1// Should designers focus on value at all times? 
2// Are there any situation where design can be value-free?
3// Do the authors ever consider the outcome of their manifesto when they draft the manifesto?