“Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through visual languages and resources on design……In common with an increasing number of the general public, we have reached a saturation point at which the high pitched scream of consumer selling is no more than sheer noise.” – Ken  Garland, First Things First Manifesto.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was in 1964 BEFORE the proper initiation of the internet and ‘pop up’ or ‘side bar’ ads!

This over-saturation of the consumerist culture, and designs effect in it, has been noticed time and again by others.

“The political economic imperative that demands limitless production is the same imperative that demands the commodification of our needs and desires. From it flows a dominant culture that creates and sustains the idea that this is natural and even necessary whilst suppressing and minimising the expression of views to the contrary.”

It has even lead to the serious debate of apocalyptic measures! (Environmental etc), trying to encourage designers to stop ‘selling’ to people and take up more social/ cultural arms and inform people, to be Cultural Agents.

“Unlimited production is a threat to human life. We now know that the threat extends to global life. This is not a moral issue, although some may wish to make it so. It is an issue of practicality, of necessity.”- Ivan Illich.

Sticking to the design side of things for the moment, I want to ask: why has this manifesto seemed to have no effect by today’s standards? Will it ever be listened to by the design community or is it just too “impossible and impractical to live up to on an everyday scale (Monika Parrinder)?

Does it need to be considered/listened to?

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