DELETE: a design manifesto (2008)

When I design, create or try to teach something, I have come to the conclusion that the delete key is essential. There is so much stuff in the world and the thought of adding more useless ephemera depresses me. So, if I or someone wants me to design, create or teach something, my philosophy will be to delete as much non-essential material as possible thus ensuring that the message is more important than the medium.

This philosophy does not mean that all work from here on in will be just minimal in outcome (although the nature of Minimal Art is important to this philosophy) - mayhem, anarchy and distruction may be the desired end result of a working process. These working processes, however, will still be stripped down by the delete key until the basic elements speak freely.

Waste must be avoided at all times - faddish 'here today, gone tomorrow' approaches to deisgn are out. Longevity, simplicity, and usability will be at the forefront of my thinking when beginning a project. If a project cannot stand up to this scrutiny then it must be abandoned altogether or brought back to the drawing board.

A good existing example of this approach is the milk bottle. Delivered to your door and picked up again for re-use there is no waste (apart from the bottle top, which can be recycled). It is a simple idea which has stood the test of time. The milk bottle is beautiful.

The delete key is just a button - but in my mind I intend to push it as much as possible to stop me from creating anything that is actually useless and to check the substance of my creative process.


    © Paul Glennon 2008