I will do something that I rarely, if ever do. I will send you to read somebody else's work. Not a writer, not a dramaturge. A designer. And a very wise one at that.
I came upon this beautiful manifesto, "the incomplete manifesto of growth" soon after I graduated from design school, and it had a huge effect on me. For once, it made me realize I was right.
I wasn’t crazy, or at least I wasn’t the only one.
INCOMPLETE MANIFESTO FOR GROWTH – Bruce Mau
I will bring here only a couple of examples, just to show how brilliant it is, but do go and read it. If you are in any creative field print it out and frame it on your wall.
I keep coming back to it every couple of years, and as I read it again now for this article, I noticed how as the years go by, I follow his advice more and more and by now almost each point is relevant for my life. Maybe that's why I have been so bloody happy lately?
Forget about good.
Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.
Love your experiments
(as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.
Don’t be cool.
Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.
Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
Stay up late.
Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.
If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.
Don’t enter awards competitions.
Just don’t. It’s not good for you.
Read only left-hand pages.
Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our "noodle."
When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.
Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.
People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.