Personal Manifesto

For this task we, having researched and evaluated the ‘First Thing’s First Manifesto’ were tasked, in groups, to devise our own manifesto in support of a cause we felt strongly for. My group decided to focus on the subject of animal welfare. We collectively worked to fill a pre-formatted page to address this subject.


Once completed I was nominated to read our manifesto aloud to the course. This was an interesting experience, reading the manifesto aloud made me weigh every word and really think about the subject at hand. This was a very briefly written first draft and I felt we could improve in later versions.

Based on our manifestos we were then asked to create a diorama in paper to express the sentiment of the statements.

We elected to create a backdrop of various animals, both wild, endangered animals and those subject to cruel farming methods. The centerpiece was a raised heart in red, to signify care and protection. The heart was designed to dominate the scene and encompass every other aspect of it, this was achieved by both scale and contrast of colour.

I was very pleased with the effect we had created, especially with the added depth given by the cascading light through the window. However I was also deeply impressed with the work of some of the other groups. Here are my favorites.

Diorama decrying Racism

This image doesn’t fully capture the detail and three dimensional nature of this piece. The raised ‘stereotyping’ was powerful as under the right lighting it casts a shadow over the family in the foreground. The white cutout of the world is a symbol of unity and the raised arms are cut from the red paper leaving a mirror in the white paper beneath symbolizing that people are the same despite variations in ethnicity or colour.

Diorama of the negative impact of pollution

Immediately I was deeply impressed by the complex detail in the tree which stands as the centrepiece of this work. The tree is a symbol of nature and its vital role in the prosperity and well being of people. The raised orange card appears to be the pages of a book, suggesting that the efforts to curb climate change and man made damage to the environment are an ongoing story that has the potential to be changed by us if we act. The fish surrounding the tree and sitting in its branches are a further symbol of human impact on the environment. Over fishing is a worldwide issue. What I find particularly clever is that the symbol for hazardous waste is an image of a dead fish sprawled by a tree, adding another layer of complexity and intrigue to this piece.

Beginning work of real issues I feel strongly about has given me a new sense of purpose in my practice. As the course progresses I feel I am coming to understand the emphasis my lecturers place upon ethical and conscientious design and its power to educate and inform.


Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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