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An essential how-to for crafting a guiding motto that sets intentions, increases creativity, and helps accomplish your goals, from Stanford University's world-renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka the d.school.
We all need agency to feel the power and joy of acting in the face of challenge and opportunity. But we also need humility and restraint to ensure that we guard against hubris and harm. We need trusted and testable navigation tools to give us confidence in our creative power and cautiousness in carrying out our work. Instead of looking for answers, what we are all seeking are tools for navigating the increasingly complex, noisy, conflicted culture that we inhabit. A personal manifesto is one of those tools.
In You Need a Manifesto, Charlotte Burgess-Auburn, the d.school's director of community, first defines the challenges of information overload we all experience today. Then she explains the importance of creating a personal mantra or motto to use in the face of daily tasks and roadblocks, walking you through the steps of creating more purpose in your work.
Explanations and hands-on design-based exercises are interwoven with vibrant quotes and excerpts from a curated collection of designers, artists, writers, scientists, and social activists. These quotes serve both as inspiration and material for the activities.
Each chapter of the book is also preceded by a graphic by artist and letterpress printer Rick Griffith, who created his illustrations in response to the material in each chapter, to guide and inspire you to see what you can produce for yourself.
About the Author
Charlotte Burgess Auburn is a designer, artist, and educator. With a background in production for fine arts and theater and experience at the MIT Media Laboratory, she has been the director of community at the Stanford d.school since 2005, where she also teaches classes on the role of self-awareness in creativity and design. The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, known as the d.school, was founded at Stanford University in 2005. Each year, nearly a thousand students from all disciplines attend classes, workshops, and programs to learn how design can enrich their own work and unlock their creative potential.
“I have learned that asking and exploring the simple question, What am I about? is profoundly important, and You Need a Manifesto is the most thorough and powerful guide into that exploration. Aimed at helping us align our choices with what matters most to us, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to exercise more agency in their work and their life.”—Lisa Congdon, artist and author