The times we live in are interesting for sure. We crossed the consumeristic point of no return a while ago, and have not turned back since. Decisions everywhere are being driven by profitability and patterns of consumption, and patterns of consumption are driven by the creation of a desire to accumulate more and more. As designers, we are key players in this ecosystem of desire, but we seek to shift the narrative from ruthless consumption to a conscious and more mindful one.

We seek to create a shift...

From a Hierarchical
definition of needs which places some things above others...

To a more holistic, more humane understanding of needs and wants.


For which, we propose seven manifestos- one each for a key necessity for life.

These manifestos are in no ways absolute commandments; you don’t have to follow them. There’s no compulsion. But if you do follow them, it would be great for you, the society as a whole, and the planet!

Step Away from this Screen & Breathe. Experience the air replenishing your body.

We owe our being to this omnipresent elixir. Be cognizant and grateful. Take another deep breath. Exhale. Remember how it feels to breathe amongst the hills.

Ask yourself why city air isn’t the same. Be responsible. Educate yourself on the air quality around you.

Don’t just complain, there’s lots that you can do. Clean air should be accessible to all.

Start with your home. Be informed while buying appliances, look for the energy star. Check for energy efficiency & emission levels. Remember that electricity is burnt fossil fuels.
Turn off extra lights. Reduce trips in your car. Public transport is your new best friend. Or even better- walk whenever possible. Reduce usage of electronics which produce CFCs.

Adjust your layers before adjusting ACs & Heaters. Use water based cleaning products & paints that are labeled zero VOC. Indoors need fresh air too. Ventilate.

Open Windows & Keep Indoor Plants. Avoid fireplaces & burning leaves, trash, and other materials as much as possible.
Be an advocate for clean air. It can be as simple as speaking out about the importance of this. Tell your friends and family why clean air matters, and let our leaders know that you side with clean air reforms.

Volunteer and get involved with organisations working for this cause.

And remember, breathe.

Do not, and we can’t stress this enough, do NOT knowingly waste water.Get the leaky faucet fixed. Be mindful of how smaller actions pile up to create large, unfathomable losses.

Consider the impacts of our everyday actions on the bigger picture of water consumption. Make informed choices in consumption. Remember, that someone, somewhere has to work SO much harder for getting the water that we do, and faces far worse consequences of wasting it.

Remember that all of civilization as we know it today emerged at the side of water, and water still provides for agriculture, industry, livestock, and so much more.

Be conscious about how we as humans are not the sole dependents on water- it does not belong to us; water is also the benefactor to flora and fauna. Be aware that any choices we make will also impact them.

Remain grateful for the clean water we get. Do not ever pollute clean water or any water. Learn from nature’s resilient systems and make sure our systems for using and treating water are self-healing and self-sufficient.

Acknowledge water’s role not just as a utilitarian anchor but a cultural one. Do not commodify water; it is not ours to capitalise. Respect the sacredness of water.

Because water is important, and there is no way we can survive without it. We are (at least 60%) water.
We are water.

Consume local produce. Make healthier choices.

Compare products before consumption.
Avoid Processed/packed food.

Incorporate Functional foods. Promote and incorporate a balanced diet. Help your body get the right balance of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

Understand the difference between need and want.
Eat home-cooked meals as much as possible.

Learn to stop eating, when you feel just satisfied, not stuffed. Serve and consume just enough.

Use what’s left. Be mindful about food wastage. Promote a sustainable food culture and lifestyle.

Be Grateful.

Help people get shelter, within your capacity.

The place you live in, let it be a reflection of yourself.

Before you jump to any conclusions, the intention of this point is that you acknowledge your culture, customize it according to your needs, so that it becomes your sanctuary.

Grow plants in and around your homes. I mean obviously I don't have to explain this to you.

Everyone knows this. Coexist. We are born on this planet like every other life form, and they (everyone else) have as much right as we do. So respect their space, like you want yours to be respected. And please, Do not cut that tree.

Dispose your waste responsibly. Because we are going to stick around for a while, help the community you live in be a sustainable one.

Build Sustainable, Temporary, Climate Responsive. Not to sound technical but these things are science. Look it up.

Optimize. Be it materials, space or anything in general, use only as required. Rockets are optimized, why can’t you?

Providing Shelter should transcend Paisa. Some basic things like food, water, shelter etc are better if they are not monetized.

Humans are the only species that pay to live. Let that sink in.

Every now and then try to indulge yourself in some activity like building something or doing some repairs around the house.

Try building something. 

Keep physically active, there are many ways to do so. Try to find what’s right for your body, define your own goals. Stick to these goals once they are set.

Love your sprouts and daal-chawal, but don’t shy away from an occasional pizza slice.

Consider refraining from anything that disturbs your physical and mental balance.

Trust your doctor more than the internet, but get a second opinion whenever necessary.

You don’t get to choose your genetic makeup, but you do get to choose your lifestyle. Build immunity so that you don’t always rely on antibiotics; alternative medicine is also an option.

Precaution and prevention trump over cure! Healing comes next.

Cultivate habits which keep you sane, bottling up for too long might make you implode.

Consume social media consciously, you do you, unhealthy standards can take a hike.

Root out toxic people from your life for good, you don’t need that kinda negativity.

Draw a line between your workspace and your personal space, mentally and physically. Take time off, pause, breathe, rest, reflect.

Know when to sign out.

Take charge in creating a better world. Gather the Support of policy makers.Invest in clean energy revolution.

Innovate - explore new directions. Reskill or Upskill workforce on newer technologies.Fund energy efficient schemes.Harness kinetic movements of humans.

Recycle industry waste energy. Educate consumers on household energy use. Utilise grey energy.

Advocate environment rights. Create livable and sustainable conditions FOR ALL.

Deliver renewable energy at the lowest possible cost. Question if your source of energy sustains the natural environment and retains ecological health vital for people and wildlife?

Make accessible & affordable policies. Make behavioral and lifestyle changes. Unplug and Switch off. Recycle. Reduce. Reuse Replace - Switch to energy efficient appliances/vehicles.

Invest in energy efficient architecture - solar paneled roofs, insulated walls/roof to reduce heat gain, etc. Ensure making use of natural ventilation and daylighting as much as possible.

Live a sustainable life - Practising grey water management, growing your food, harvesting rainwater, segregating waste etc reduces energy consumption in the respective industries.

Conserve and Maintain your physical & mental energy - Take regular breaks, eat good food, engage in physical activities and sleep well.
There’s energy in you.

We believe in Shelter as a physical, tangible form of security; shelters provide secure accommodation for humans protecting them from various external factors like weather, wildlife, and intruders.

Respect the data of an individual; understand that everyone should have agency over what belongs to them- even in cybersecurity, financial security.

We propose only possessing what you need; having possession of only what you need, borrow what you don’t have, share available resources.

We speculate that clothes are security; clothing is also like possession where on an individual: we don’t feel the necessity of it but on community-level it is mandatory.

We aim to achieve an emotionally secure world that nurtures the psychological security of people; where people perceive their environment as safe and free from harm and threat.

We believe in respecting your surroundings; a coexisting model between human and nature, is a priority.

We believe in no physical boundaries; and acknowledge the existing, natural boundaries. hu:manifesto questions the need for security; if all the other domains of intent fall in sync with each other, we might not need security as we know of it.
Learn from Nature.

In Conclusion

These manifestos made us realise how inter-connected every aspect of life is. Taking a well-informed decision with the intent to make a change in one aspect would also cause ripples in the other domains, and create positive change everywhere.  So in short, there is one small phrase to sum up all our manifestos,
make good choices.

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This document was made as a part of the course Emerging Scenarios in the third semester of the M.Des 2019 batch of Graphic Design students, remotely at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.


        Tarun Deep Girdher

        Guest Faculty

        Dipendra Baoni


Amogh Bhatnagar
Divya Lohia
Jyoti Poonia
Lakshman Khadapkar
Mahindra Tudu
Mustafa Zaveri
Nikita Jaiswal
Rohit Pawar
Saloni Khanvilkar
Satya Siva Kanth
Sherina Siraj
Sneha Majumdar
Sushmita V
Tanusree Debdas