First Things First Manifesto- critique

A lot of things have changed since the rework of the original first things first making it even more relevant, with the main aim in any job being to subsequently make money it is drilled into people from a young age that making money is the ‘be all and end all’ of spending a number of years and paying out borrowed money to eventually become qualified in some thing you then cant get a job in. In this day and age the world we live in is a world were the commercial groups hold the upper hand and have complete financial stability, giving more incentive  to people who study to “flog” their skills to a higher power in order to live. The main aim today is not to enjoy to work but to work to live, even in schools from a very young age a creative side to someone is not nurtured but ignored  to discourage entering the arts as it is a dead end career choice.
“Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the
market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.”(First Things First;
a manifesto,2000) , the manifesto of 2000 states a lack of rebellion to the norm unlike the 1964 version when it is said that the use of design skills was merely applauded and looked upon as a good use of skills, in the more recent version it is official put into publication almost like it is set in stone it is what they are taught. To compare this to the now there is almost a sense of youth coming to a boiling point with such things a tuition fees rising, costs of living soaring and less jobs available once qualified we are living in a socially unstable time were at any moment there is more chance of revolt and protest. This makes it seem as thought we as a collective are less likely to accept the norm and to inspire change in what is considered as a one track route into the commercial world.
The manifesto in some instances is less relevant the original like the ‘First things first: Now more than ever’ piece says its it simply pointing out that this is the way things are and that “the millennium itself—there’s been this sense that the world is used up, that things have gone wrong, that the wrong people are in power” the whole manifesto has a sense of self- defeat and that there is no hope and that it needs to change, but essentially in this time the piece preaches to the converted in a way that rebelling from a natural flow is exactly what people want to do and it gives meaning and something to fight against rather than fight for.
The manifesto seems to shame those who have qualified in design and accuses them of not being socially aware enough, the comment of being in the consumer trade “Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in
large measure, what graphic designers do(First Things First; a manifesto,2000)” still stands today as far as playing the bills is concerned as the major worry after qualifying and ending up with a lot of debt is to find a job and have an income. The instruction manual of a socially and culturally aware graduate doesn’t cover being able to live on a decent wage whilst being fastidious over which job satisfies their moral integrity.
It is very true that the trading of consumer goods and the advertising them has more and more of an impact on each generation for instance the amount of TV’s in an average household during the original manifesto, the newer one and now make a massive difference to how children should eventually use their creativity in the world and what will make them the most money. But as far as this being supported by tutors and teacher the subject tends to be avoided
“words such as “revolution,” “resistance” and “rebellion” are today far more likely to be found describing computers, perfume or jeans than popular political movement (First things first: Now more than ever)” This may well have been the case a few years ago but theres seems to have been a shift, a feeling that everything is ultimately coming to a head with the neglect of talents in the creative industry and governments making it harder for people to further develop a creative skill, the design culture is been seen less as a commercial skill and more as something that isn’t that important and in turn becoming something trivial that anyone could do.
“Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.” As far as design or visual arts go the manifesto gives everyone going into the industry something they have to live up to, something you must live up to otherwise you have disgraced what a small group of people in  the industry wish themselves to be called and remember for. The whole idea of a “socially responsible individual” seems as though it is something that makes them more superior to anyone else and who would not lower themselves to doing work for the pleasure of others and if their work does not taunt their viewer then they have failed to make a flawed representation of the human race.
Overall the manifesto raises excellent points about what must change about out capitalist dominated environment but must take into account that the design side will never not be linked to the commercial world and to make a difference is to raise both the positive and negative points of the latter rather than taking a back seat and spending all their time criticising the people thy are trying to convert from the capitalist movement that has dominated our everyday lives for so long. The priorities of this modern day society must change but the up front commercial problems are not the only ones and the aim to should be to point out what we don’t know as a society and bring about a positive change


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