is a manifesto?
The word manifesto comes from the Latin manifestus meaning literally that may be laid hold of by the hand. Manus means hand and Festus comes from fendo: to dash against. Eventually it came to stand for a document, signed by the master of a vessel at the place of lading which was to be exhibited at the customís house. The manifesto contained a description of the ship and her cargo, the destination of the ship and the goods. Accordingly the† word manifest means To show plainly, to display, or Not hidden, clear to view; easily understood. The word manifesto is therefore also used for a public declaration of intent by a sovereign or government.
Aims of a manifesto
Architects have used the manifesto to declare an opinion about an issue and to project that opinion into a strategy for practice. As such it give the student of architecture the opportunity to
∑ To investigate broader issues affecting architecture and to begin to mould a set of personal values and attitudes towards architecture.
∑ To deepen the studentís grasp of the implications of design choices specifically with regard to how those choices affect the perception and experience of buildings.
In form the architectural manifesto is a product where the written word exists in heightened tension with visual rhetoric. Images, slogans, short texts, expressive typography all come together to build an image of conviction about a certain issue and to translate that conviction into strategies for practice.
The objective is to formulate, write and give visual form to a set of well thought out personal convictions about some issue in architecture. Those convictions should be concerned with the tension between theory and practice.
The idea of a manifesto is to make it visually and linguistically compelling. Also it is short. Evidence is not too important here. The accent is on a compelling statement of intent.
You can divide the manifesto up into sections by asking the following questions:
∑ What is the problem?
∑ What are the issues involved?
∑ How are these issues relevant to the architect?
∑ What is my attitude to the problem?
∑ What can we do to solve the problem?
These questions must be answered in the form of relatively short and concise texts, supported by visual material: Drawings, Computer images, Collages, Paintings, Photographs, Typography, etc. The cost of materials should be minimal: improvisation and imagination is the name of the game.