Reading Response #8 to Artful Design • Chapter 8: “Manifesto” “”

Aaron H.
Music 256A / CS476a, Stanford University

If it wasn’t evident before from the chapter being called “Manifesto”, Artful Design is clearly a philosophy book. It was cool to see all these lessons from each chapter culminate into a central idea of art being created as an end to itself. I do feel empowered as an artist to create not particularly to satisfy, but more so to bring light to what could exist and challenge what currently does exist. I wonder what it would take for this philosophy to take hold of popular media. The demand to produce and fit a certain standard seems to have a long way to go before embracing art as more than a means to an end. The music industry in particular often parades the hypothetical imperative, promising wealth and fame from creating music. I do wonder however, is art inherently optimistic? Even when creating something that conveys negative emotions, pain, or lament, is the practice of creating an art from that optimistic? That’s what I find fascinating about the word eudaimonia mentioned in the chapter. If we design to promote eudaimonia, does that mean we inherently promote the good of art independent of the medium or context?

I would also like to take time to show appreciation to principle 8.23 “Pause, for the small, good things”. I think especially at Stanford, there are so many pressing things happening all at once that time can really fly by. As a result, it’s easy to miss all the “small” things around us that we take for granted that really make up our day to day. For me , that’s the ability to live out in California and pursue a degree I actually find interesting. I’m also able to call my parents back on the east coast and have friends and family back on the east coast. Even with a 3 hr time delay, I have a partner the waits up for me to say goodnight and hear about my day. I have luxury of having a roommate that has my back and learn from so many others on a day to day basis. These are just a few small things I’m grateful for that happen on a day to day basis. Knowing I have this support strengthens me to pursue my passion and make the art that I want to make. In closing, I would like to thank Ge for having us actively think about the works that we are creating.