Crap Futures + Manifestos

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific


Manifesto writing is on the rise again and has regained the prominent position it held during earlier waves in the 1910s and late 1960s. Today, one can hardly find a group or movement that is without a statement of principles. Manifestos introduce new ways of thinking, they bring urgent concerns to light, and they help us define the core principles that unite us. ‘Manifestos are dark and powerful magic. They are personal as well as political, … brave but also vulnerable, fleeting, transient, constantly shifting, reinventing. They represent new starts, blank slates, big dreams and fierce masks.… Manifestos are the first stop for visionaries’ (Hanna, 2020, p. 6).
What can manifestos do for us as researchers, practitioners, and citizens? How can manifestos serve ‘not as a war cry … but rather as a warning’ (Latour, 2010, p. 473) for the challenges ahead? In Latour’s approach lies the manifesto’s potential for the 21st century: a wake-up call signalling that it is not too late to change direction away from ‘business as usual’ and towards more ecological, social, and inclusive futures. Manifestos can help us to start conversations about who we are, what we stand for, what we want to change, and where we want to go next.
My goal of bringing manifesto writing to the summer school is consistent with the goal of manifestos broadly, which ‘exist to challenge and provoke’ (Hanna, 2014). I want to encourage participants to think about what they stand for and why, through collaboration, artistic expression, and public dissemination. Following an introductory lecture, participants will share their ideas using a purpose-built manifesto game and will create manifestos in the tradition of the great ‘isms’ of the last century.

While I believe that the manifesto is an important tool in shaping ideas and articulating goals and principles, the short manifestos that will be produced are not intended to be viewed as finished texts. Rather, the activity of manifesto writing is intended to ignite conversations and introduce the idea of increasing activism and engagement. That said, the kinds of rough manifestos produced (and performed) in this experimental session could be further developed and honed with more time, and eventually published.


Hanna, J. 2020. The Manifesto Handbook: 95 Theses for an Incendiary Genre. Zero Books.

Hanna, J. 2014. Manifestos: A Manifesto. The Atlantic (24 June)

Latour, B. 2010. An Attempt at a 'Compositionist Manifesto'. New Literary History 41, 471-490.
Period14 Jul 2022
Event titleDesign+Science Summer School 2022: Cohabitation
Event typeOther
LocationLjubljana, SloveniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • design
  • manifestos
  • avant-garde
  • cohabitation
  • speculative design
  • environment