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MEME Manifesto

The Meme Manifesto is a project developed with ADS4 at the Royal College of Art as part of a critical investigation into the impact that contemporary forms of communication - namely memes - have had on the way that ideas, forms and styles are shared and replicated in architecture. 

The term ’meme’ was first coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to describe an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. The term has since taken on new meaning, more often referring to an image that is captioned and shared over the internet. 

As identified by Dawkins, there are three criteria that determine the success of a meme - Longevity, Fecundity and Fidelity. Taking these ’memetic’ principals, we have developed a manifesto through which to explore architecture. In the spirit of the meme, the sections of the manifesto are bastardised versions of criteria developed by others - UNESCO’s World Heritage criteria, the Intellectual Property Office’s rules for fair-use copying, and Facebook’s loyalty manifesto. 

The first edition of the Meme Manifesto has been included in the Istanbul Design Biennial, 2014. A second edition has now been developed to explore the current resurgence of nostalgia in design and the toxic impact that this is having on our ability to imagine a new future.   
 
 
© Thomas Greenall