We are responsible

We are responsible for following our mutually agreed upon contract. We are responsible for those who are directly, indirectly and tangentially impacted by design. We are responsible for educating clients of any potentially negative implications in the work. We are responsible for creating and sustaining an inclusive culture.

We will

We will be transparent and honest with our clients and walk them through our design process, step-by-step. We will be active learners in the design process through engaged research that helps us gain knowledge of cultural diferences, sensitivities and micro-aggressions on private and public scales. We will critically evaluate the rules in other manifestos as well as our own. We will voice our opinions when we have a concern.

We won't

We won't give preference to one client over another or compromise our standards and morals to meet deadlines or client expectations. We won't claim ownership or expertise in areas that do not derive from our lived experience. We won't be judgmental of others’ values. We won't feel overprotective of our ideas - as our ideas are inspired by others'.

We recognize

We recognize there are a limited amount of design possibilities for certain projects, and we will always inform clients when their ideas could potentially infringe upon another design's existing copyright. We recognize these principles can change over time and remain malleable to adapt to the needs and conditions of the zeitgeist. We recognize that our work represents the values of our clients, the profession, and the designer. We recognize that we are all HUMAN, we make mistakes, yet we have time, space and collaborative practice to correct them.

MGD '19 '20 '21

Core Values Workshop

The MGD Core Values workshop was inspired by the AIGA Designer of 2025 article, "Core Values Matter."
Research provides evidence that core values matter in shaping attitudes and behavior, regardless of the legal status of organizations (for-profit or non-profit), suggesting that design can be a force for social change beyond projects labeled “design for good.” When designers assign worthiness to work solely on the basis of obvious message content or self-declared client or designer intent, we not only overlook the daunting systems-level complexity underlying social and environmental problems, but also ignore the potential in every design project to "do good."

Workshop Background

We designed the workshop around two important themes: (1) the values that businesses must use to develop trust with consumers; and (2) the independent values that designers must maintain to create ethical work and be "ethical designers." We agreed that no matter how we set up the workshop, we wanted an outcome where participants developed their own code of ethics. We also thought it was very important for participants to reflect on their own design practice and identify guiding principles for their work that they may or may not have thought about before. This goal was the guiding basis for our workshop - one in which individuals, teams, and then the class as a whole, would identify values and principles that could be applied to design practice. Together, we compiled individual thoughts, then collaborated and agreed upon a final manifesto. This manifesto is a document we are all proud of creating - knowing there is a bigger purpose to our work. We need to reflect upon our actions and responsibilities to ourselves, our clients, and the larger society.


Shadrick Addy, Victoria Gerson & Harrison Lyman

Workshop Process

View Workshop Resource

MGD 2018 Fall Exhibition

As part of our Fall Studio, we exhibited the workshop outcomes in the MGD Fall 2018 exhibition

Related Projects