MCA Creative Learning Manifesto


The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is Australia’s leading museum dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists.

“We celebrate the work of living artists, bringing exceptional exhibitions of international and Australian art to as many people as possible – welcoming over a million visitors each year – in the belief that art is for everyone.”


Context Statement

Contemporary art matters. It stimulates the imagination, creatively engages our senses and has the power to transform lives.


Our vision is to make contemporary art and ideas widely accessible to a range of audiences through the presentation of a diverse program of exhibitions and special events, both onsite and offsite. From major thematic exhibitions and solo surveys of established artists, to new work by emerging artists, touring exhibitions and community-led projects through C3West, we strive to cover the range and diversity of contemporary art.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)


Our creative learning manifesto is a set of values and concepts that guide the development and delivery of all learning programs that we offer.

Art is for everyone
Art does not discriminate. Art reaches beyond age, ability, experience, education, gender, culture and language.

Artists at the heart
Artists are experts in their field. When it comes to imagination, risk-taking, skills and ideas, an artist’s practice makes a remarkable model for creative learning.

Look and think in new ways
Artists invite us to be creative and critical thinkers, to understand art, ourselves and our world in exciting new ways.

Colour outside the lines
Contemporary art gives us an opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone, to rethink the rules, take risks and imagine the impossible.

Play with process over product
Art-making is a space for playing and experimenting with materials, techniques, ideas and possibilities. The process itself can be more engaging than the final outcome.

Bring your own story, take fresh meaning
Everyone brings their own story to art, making connections to their own life experience.



I’ve called it a ‘Context Statement’ and it’s a reason the MCA exists: Contemporary art matters’.

I believe all businesses should have this.

Why do we matter? We matter because Contemporary art matters.

It also says, given ‘contemporary art matters’ we then need this… Which in this case is what MCA provides: ‘Contemporary art matters’ therefore we need to ‘make it widely accessible’.

I also like the language of their values statement: colour and play are two strong evocative words that fit the palette of educating people about art.

Word choice is like spices in cooking. They can turn a dreary dish into a taste explosion.

Choose your manifesto words wisely because they have meaning and add flavour.


Icograda Design Education Manifesto

New Rules of Golf Instruction

Ainslie Hunter – Courses that matter

Frog Design Manifesto


Frog Design is an international design company


“frog advances the human experience through design.

Since our early days ushering in the era of personal computing, our rallying cry has been ‘form follows emotion.’ Today our work goes beyond individual forms—we design systems of brand, product, and service—but our focus on emotion remains. We strive to create the world as it should be, and our work results in experiences people love.” (website)

Frog Design Manifesto - Part 1


We are fanatical about improving the world
We choreograph cultural change through design
We are not just a business, after 50 years we’re part of the cultural fabric
Our work outlasts movements and fads
Quality is our non-compromising obligation
We strive to change minds, touch hearts and move markets

We are curious, vigilant, expert, cost-driven and aware of the need to save our scarce environment
Our talent is both an art and a science, it’s both business and culture
Our clients are the key to our success (however, we don’t take any b.s. – inside or outside)
We live honestly open and without fear
Humour and spirited fun are the essence of frog

Frog Design Manifesto Part 2



Frog is a world-class design company.

The interesting thing for me about the two manifesto visuals is that they are not consistent with what a company that is perhaps best known for their early work for Apple.

Instead, I see these two manifestos as fitting the typical ‘style’ of a manifesto. Essentially, this is short sharp statements with a mix of fonts in different sizes to create a visual poster.

I was hoping for a unique approach rather than the adoption of what I consider to be a ‘typical’ approach to designing your manifesto visual.

A comparison might be the Stanford Design School Napkin Manifesto. While this might be a bit of a cliche for designs (to draw your ideas on a napkin) it is consistent with the spirit of how design is created.

One thought of what Frog could have done is to have printed their manifesto onto the surface of one of their designed objects. Or perhaps, as a series of photographs with a single core statement on a single design. This would have created a unique series, a great launch event (photograph exhibition) plus a series of images that could be shared and downloaded on social media which could provide greater spread of their ideas and their brand.

At the level of content, there are some great words in this manifesto. For instance: fanatical, choreograph, outlast, non-compromising, touch hearts, move markets, vigilant and spirited.

These presents a lively creative feel to their thoughts.


Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice Manifesto

Stanford Design School Napkin Manifesto

A Design Education Manifesto

Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution


“We are Fashion Revolution. We are designers, producers, makers, workers and consumers. We are academics, writers, business leaders, brands, retailers, trade unions and policymakers. We are the industry and the public. We are world citizens. We are a movement and a community. We are you.”


“We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.

This is our dream…”

Fashion Revolution Manifesto - Sign the Manifesto


Fashion provides dignified work, from conception to creation to catwalk. It does not enslave, endanger, exploit, overwork, harass, abuse or discriminate against anyone. Fashion liberates worker and wearer and empowers everyone to stand up for their rights.

Fashion provides fair and equal pay. It enriches the livelihood of everyone working across the industry, from farm to shop floor. Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fulfils aspiration.

Fashion gives people a voice, making it possible to speak up without fear, join together in unity without repression and negotiate for better conditions at work and across communities.

Fashion respects culture and heritage. It fosters, celebrates and rewards skills and craftsmanship. It recognises creativity as its strongest asset. Fashion never appropriates without giving due credit or steals without permission. Fashion honours the artisan.

Fashion stands for solidarity, inclusiveness and democracy, regardless of race, class, gender, age, shape or ability. It champions diversity as crucial for success.

Fashion conserves and restores the environment. It does not deplete precious resources, degrade our soil, pollute our air and water or harm our health. Fashion protects the welfare of all living things and safeguards our diverse ecosystems.

Fashion never unnecessarily destroys or discards but mindfully redesigns and recuperates in a circular way. Fashion is repaired, reused, recycled and upcycled. Our wardrobes and landfills do not overflow with clothes that are coveted but not cherished, bought but not kept.

Fashion is transparent and accountable. Fashion embraces clarity and does not hide behind complexity nor rely upon trade secrets to derive value. Anyone, anywhere can find out how, where, by whom and under what conditions their clothing is made.

Fashion measures success by more than just sales and profits. Fashion places equal value on financial growth, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

Fashion lives to express, delight, reflect, protest, comfort, commiserate and share. Fashion never subjugates, denigrates, degrades, marginalises or compromises. Fashion celebrates life.



This is a great piece of work.

There are four outstanding things that I suggest you include in your manifesto.

One, the manifesto starts with a statement of community: this is who we are. It’s specific and it’s broad. (See Creators above)

Two, there is a clear three sentence concise statement of their purpose. It’s says this is our domain (We love fashion) but this is not working and we can no longer stand by and let this continue (But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.) (See Purpose above)

Three, it presents a strong and clear ten-point manifesto. While the ten points cover a lot of territory they also have a more specific meaning when you apply them specifically to fashion. This also points to level of influence you can have in the decisions you make about what you buy and what you wear.

Four, a clear call to action in the form of ‘Sign the manifesto’. (See image).

If you want a framework for your manifesto you could do well to model this one. Best of all, it’s presented on a single web page.


Council of Fashion Designers of America – Design Manifesto

The Slow Clothing Manifesto

Yes Manifesto

Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto


“AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, partnering with clients to solve the world’s most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.” (website)


This manifesto is a comprehensive proposition for future Sydney with 8 million residents. Intended to guide business and government, it offers ambitious reforms to plan for the larger population size, which could be reached as early as 2050.


10 Big Moves

  1. Evolve Sydney’s governance model
  2. Rethink future procurement and delivery
  3. Embed a smart city approach to planning
  4. Value green infrastructure
  5. Optimise Sydney transport
  6. Deliver next-generation corridors
  7. Reform Sydney’s freight network
  8. Make housing more diverse and affordable
  9. Turn Sydney electric
  10. Create a water-sensitive city


Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto


In the early 1990s, I was selected to speak at two international Ecological City conferences.

My topic was to talk about my proposed strategy for the design of my home city – Geelong.

In particular I was suggesting we needed to create public Design Goals. This was to counter the closed planning process that favoured projects that promised short-term jobs and tourist projects but ultimately did not enhance the public amenity of the locals.

I’m pleased to say the Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto adopts a similar approach – it presents a series of general goals and then specific ones to Sydney.

The visual diagram on this page from their report highlights this.

This manifesto is best read in partnership with the AECOM Brilliant Cities manifesto.

Together they present a great way to lead the conversation by offer three tiers:

  1. A unique context
  2. A set of rules or principles for winning in that context
  3. An application of these principles

This example of Sydney demonstrates part three in this process by applying the principles to a real-world situation.


AECOM’s Brilliant Cities

Vancouver – Greenest City in the World 2020

Trevor Boddy – Hybrid City

AECOM’s Brilliant Cities


“AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, partnering with clients to solve the world’s most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come.” (website)


“Cities have never been more important, nor the competition among them more intense. The cities that are positioned to excel are pursuing visionary, integrated strategies to tap hidden value, attract people and investment, and overcome financial and operational challenges.”


Brilliant cities are globally renowned for being prosperous and highly liveable.

They allow residents to live close to where they work, and enjoy housing security and easy access to services, amenities and open space.

Crucially, infrastructure, services and technology are deeply integrated with people’s lives.

Digital applications and the sharing economy operate around the clock, giving residents seamless on-demand access to transport and other services at any hour of the day.

These technological innovations connect communities; they also enable remote work and sharing of ideas. In addition, a greater mix of housing types provides residents

with more diverse, equitable and, in turn, liveable environments.

Achieving this vision (in Sydney) will take more than just spending money. Governance, planning and procurement settings are crucial.

All three tiers of government, as well as other stakeholders, must also collaborate to identify goals and prioritise funding, and they must be held accountable for delivering these commitments.



This is a very clever piece of Thought Leadership.

AECOM build infrastructure. To create demand and ultimately pitch their expertise, they have the created their own opportunity and conversation about what is needed: Brilliant Cities.

That’s a simple and power two-word phrase. ‘Cities’ is the context and ‘brilliant’ is their unique descriptor or niche term.

Together they ask the questions:

  • What is a brilliant city?
  • Is my city brilliant?
  • What would we need to do to make it brilliant?

Historically, this type of discussion document was created by government entities. Instead, I believe this document is inspired and created by AECOM. That’s being a leader in your market.

Even better, they have created a context that can applied to different situations – in this case to different cities.

Separately I have posted Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto. I suggest you download the pdf – it’s a beautifully designed document that outlines the principles they are pursuing and how they would go about this. From the three tiers of government (Local, State and Federal) that could enact the plan, AECOM has highlighted the goals and some broad projects that could be implemented to achieve these goals.

This sets up a three-tier Thought Leadership approach:

  1. Define a unique context eg Brilliant Cities
  2. Write the rules for success – what critieria do you need to achieve to become a Brilliant City
  3. Applications of your rules – in this case, Sydney


Brilliant City Sydney Manifesto

Vancouver – Greenest City in the World 2020

Trevor Boddy – Hybrid City

The Might Could Social Media Manifesto


Might Could is a design studio based in the North Carolina, US. It is lead by Christine, Declan and Oni Nishiyama.


The social media platforms like Instagram all shape how we can consume and share our art. This is Might Could’s philosophy for how to cope with this and stay in control – rather than being controlled.

The Might Could Social Media Manifesto


  1. I will make art for myself, not for likes.
  2. I will pot my art even if I think it’s not that great.
  3. I will not try t do it all.
  4. I will sometimes take a break and unplug.
  5. I will be inspired by, not discouraged by, other art I see.
  6. I will not measure my value by likes and followers.
  7. I will measure my value by what I create.
  8. I will make my art, and share it with the world.



This manifesto is short, sharp, simple.

There are no prizes for having the longest manifesto. I’d even add that the longer your manifesto the less likely someone is to read the whole thing.

Plus, the visual is a complementary style of being simple and playful.

Naturally, there is a balance here between brevity and depth. This example is a good one of having a neat short visual with a longer blog post going into more details. I like to think of content as a series of layers ranging from a snack to a full meal. Let people enage with your ideas in multiple ways.

I particularly like the place to ‘sign here’. This is a simple gesture to invite you to join the movement and more importantly commit to the manifesto, which I think is more important.

At the end of the day, life is not about tagging along with the crowd. I think it’s more important that we live true to the things that are important to us and that we are truly committed to.

Also, when you type ‘social media manifesto’ into Google there are at least four books with this title on the home page. You don’t have to be the one and only to make a difference.


Jonathan Heawood – A New Manifesto for Media Ethics

Jeremy Samuel – Social Media Engagement Manifesto

Christopher Carfi – The Social Customer Manifesto (for living in the social media world)

Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Outdoor Photography School is an online resource and community created by Brenda Petrella to help you master both your photography skills and your outdoor skills.


The OPS Manifesto is a declaration of their core values that guide everything they do as outdoor photographers. 

Brenda Petrella's Outdoor Photography School Manifesto


Put nature first, even it if means missing the shot.

Respect all species and ecosystems.

Be kind to others.

Lead by example.

Remember we are part of nature not separate from it.

Know before we go.

Leave no trace.

Pack it in, pack it out.

Know our limits.

Plan for the unexpected.

Advocate for untouched landscapes, dark night skies, and keeping wildlife wild.

Produce images with integrity and authenticity.

Explore the outdoors rather than sit in front of a screen.

Protect what’s left like our lives depend on it.



If you didn’t know it advance, you could probably read this manifesto and think it was about camping and an outdoor lifestyle rather than a photography school.

If it was just for a couple of mates wanting to take some pictures in the wild, then it’s a neat expression of their views, but perhaps not really necessary.

However, when you ramp things up and multiply the number of people involved (It’s a photography school), then a manifesto like this one is a great idea.

It’s a great example of a niched manifesto which reflects the stated niche of the business: photography + outdoor skills.

What I particularly like about it is that it seems to have both a soft and a hard edge to it. ‘Put nature first’ is a good general comment. But, when you match this up with ‘even if it means missing the shot’, then you have a really potent rule that speaks to the heart of what is truly important to a photographer – the shot is usually everything.

That’s how you make some thing unique!

Plus, these values apply to both beginners and experts.

From a branding position this manifesto says we care and we’re here for the long haul. Yes, we take our photography seriously, but we also take nature very seriously too. As Brenda suggests on her website – we need nature. “And it’s shrinking every day around the globe.”


The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography – a photographic art movement

Simple Shoes Manifesto – shoes for a happy planet

Blue Gym Manifesto – celebrate the natural environment as a means to improving health and wellbeing.

Lebbeus Woods, Slow Manifesto


Lebbeus Woods (1940-2012) is the author of several books published by Princeton Architectural Press books. Woods was an architectural illustrator.

A curation of Woods blog became a book edited by Clare Jacobson: Lebbeus Woods, Slow Manifesto


The slow movement principles applied to architecture.


The new cities demand an architecture that rises from and sinks back into fluidity, into the turbulence of a continually changing matrix of conditions, into an eternal, ceaseless flux

architecture drawing its sinews from webbings of shifting forces, from patterns of unpredictable movements, from abrupt changes of mind, alterations of position, spontaneous disintegrations and syntheses

architecture resisting change, even as it flows from it, struggling to crystallize and become eternal, even as it is broken and scattered

architecture seeking nobility of presence, yet possessed of the knowledge that only the incomplete can claim nobility in a world of the gratuitous, the packaged, the promoted, the already sold

architecture seeking persistence in a world of the eternally perishing, itself giving way to the necessity of its moment

architecture writhing, twisted, rising, and pinioned to the uncertain moment, but not martyred, or sentimental, or pathetic, the coldness of its surfaces resisting all comfort

architecture that moves, slowly or quickly, delicately or violently, resisting the false assurance of stability

architecture that comforts, but only those who ask for no comfort

architecture of gypsies, who are driven from place to place, because they have no home

architecture of circuses, transient and unknown, but for the day and night of their departure

architecture of migrants, fleeing the advent of night’s bitter hunger

architecture of a philosophy of interference, the forms of which are infinitely varied, a vocabulary of words spoken only once, then forgotten

architecture bending and bending more, in continual struggle against gravity, against time, against, against, against

barbaric architecture, rough and insolent in its vitality and pride

sinuous architecture, winding endlessly and through a scaffolding of reasons

architecture caught in sudden light, then broken in a continuum of darkness

architecture embracing the sudden shifts of its too-delicate forms, therefore indifferent to its own destruction

architecture that destroys, but only with the coldness of profound respect

neglected architecture, insisting that its own beauty is deeper yet

abandoned architecture, not waiting to be filled, but serene in its transcendence

architecture that transmits the feel of movements and shifts, resonating with every force applied to it, because it both resists and gives way

architecture that moves, the better to gain its poise

architecture that insults politicians, because they cannot claim it as their own

architecture whose forms and spaces are the causes of rebellions, against them, against the world that brought them into being

architecture drawn as though it were already built

architecture built as though it had never been drawn



A classic long list manifesto based on the slow movement. This time applied to architecture. It’s a good example of a philosophy – slow – being applied to a range of new areas.


Christopher Richards, The Slow Movement

Academic Slow Food Manifesto


Yes Manifesto


Nadia in her own world – Dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, writer, and general public nuisance.


“This is partially based on Yvonne Rainer’s 1965 “No Manifesto” which rejected traditions of theatricality to redefine dance. While I appreciate the value of rejecting the normative/cliche in the process of finding new possibilities, I think this “Yes Manifesto” better represents a current generation of artists who define innovation through what they include rather than what they exclude.”


Yes to spectacle.

Yes to plainness.

Yes to virtuosity.

Yes to full-out and fabulous.

Yes to pedestrian.

Yes to moving.

Yes to stillness.

Yes to breaking though physical limitations.

Yes to accepting physical limitations.

Yes to exploring and celebrating limitations.

Yes to magic.

Yes to realism.

Yes to narrative.

Yes to abstract.

Yes to movement for movement’s sake.

Yes to music.

Yes to Beethoven.

Yes to Beyonce.

Yes to banging and screaming.

Yes to silence.

Yes to style.

Yes to simplicity.

Yes to complex.

Yes to complicated.

Yes to star-power.

Yes to anonymity.

Yes to powerlessness.

Yes to stage faces.

Yes to actual faces.

Yes to deadpan.

Yes to being moved.

Yes to feeling.

Yes to cold intellectualism.

Yes to hot intellectualism.

Yes to eye candy.

Yes to eye vegetables.

Yes to high art.

Yes to low art.

Yes to medium art.

Yes to dancing on the proscenium stage.

Yes to dancing in the streets.

Yes to dancing on screens.

Yes to dancing in clubs.

Yes to dancing in your bedroom.

Yes to out-of-the-box.

Yes to inside-the-box.

Yes to jumping off the box.

Yes to crushing the box.

Yes to wearing the box on your head.

Yes to beauty.

Yes to ugly.

Yes to almost-beautiful and almost-ugly, and everything in-between and outside.

Yes, and . . .

Or at least maybe . . .



This is a great example of an update and counterpoint to a previous idea or manifesto. In this case Yvonne Rainer said ‘No’ and Nadia says ‘Yes’.

This also highlights my point in my book Manifesto where I outline nine principles for creating your manifesto. One principle is focusing on what you are saying ‘yes’ – we want more of this! And another principles says ‘no’ – we want to stop this. Both work depending upon your situation and your intention.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie: We Are the World

Creator: Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote the song “We Are The World” as a charity single in 1985. It was performed by the supergroup USA for Africa and sold over 20 million copies. The project was instigated by Harry Belafonte and Ken Kragen who selected Jackson and Richie to author the song.

Purpose: The song was created to support African famine relief and followed from the success of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

We Are The World Manifesto


There comes a time when we hear a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
and it’s time to lend a hand to life
Their greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
it’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand


When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one



We Are The World on Wikipedia

Video on You Tube

Lyrics for We Are The World from