Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

posted by Mark Busse on

In the late 90′s, a little known Canadian designer named Bruce Mau published his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth outlining his beliefs, strategies and motivations. His 43 points spread like wildfire throughout the design industry and are still regularly quoted by designers.

[read the IndustrialBrand article]

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you: You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth are the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. 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.

3. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

4. 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.

5. Go Deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

7. Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

9. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

10. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense to do so. Let anyone lead.

11. Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.

12. Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your practice.

13. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames, and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

15. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

17. ____________ . Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas that you haven’t had yet and for the ideas of others.

18. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you have gone too far, have been up too long, have worked too hard, and are separated from the rest of the world.

19. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.

20. Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.

21. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

22. Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.

23. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

24. Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone has it.

25. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

26. Dont’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you.

27. Read only left-hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”

28. Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.

29. Think with your mind. Creativity is not device-dependent. Forget technology. 

30. Organization = liberty. Real innovation in design, or in any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen  calls a “shining artifact of the past.”

31. Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline — and how many people have failed to do so.

32. Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him of her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

33. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet — or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer-graphic-simulated environment.

34. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

35. Immitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

36. Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: Make up something else (but not words).

37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

38. Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.

39. Take advantage of coffee breaks, cab rides, and greenrooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss called “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist; once organized a science-and-art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently, it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

40. Avoid fields. 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.

41. Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use laughter as a barometer to measure how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

42. Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us ware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and as such, a potential for growth. itself.

43. Power to the people. Play only happens when people feel that they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

Oddly, all traces of the manifesto have been removed from Mau’s website, leaving broken links spread across the Interwebs like doors to nowhere. 
[Bruce Mau Design]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Disney Parks Blog - Banner Headers, part 10

In this tenth and final posting of this series, I present the special banner headers for two of this year’s events which coincidentally occurred in May: 1) “Rock Your Disney Side” 24-hour event; and 2) the grand opening of “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” attraction.

May 23 -24, 2014

It is/was exactly as was advertised as an extension of this year’s “Show Your Disney Side” campaign: namely the opportunity to stay and play in the parks for 24 magical hours - 
your choice on either the East coast or West. 

May 28th, 2014

The crown jewel of Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland opens marking the completion of the Florida Park’s major area expansion.

Disneyanadocious rating for all 10 parts: (9/10): D D D D D D D D D -

All images ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy [PG-13] - Action/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi
August 1, 2014 - Marvel Studios
Directed by James Gunn

Grade B+
Up-Graded from B

+1: Talking “raccoons” with anger issues and big guns: Rocket (Bradley Copper).

+1: The Legend of “Footloose”, Kevin Bacon and soundtrack, A.K.A. “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1”.

par: Low altitude space ship battles.

-1: Bad guys waiting (Ronan, Thanos, Nebula).

par: movie science and physics (space guards un-trained for zero gravity, flying a detached prison command bunker, interconnecting hundreds of space fighters as a defense).

par: Bonus scene within end credits.

Disclosure: Bryan works for Walt Disney Consumer Products, part of The Walt Disney Company of which Marvel Studios is a division.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonlight [PG-13] - Comedy/ Drama/ Romance
August 15, 2014 - Sony Picture Classics
Directed by Woody Allen

Grade B+
Up-graded from B.

par: Cast including Colin Firth (Stanley), Emma Stone (Sophie).

par: Story (Woody Allen).

+1: Colin Firth’s Professor Henry Higgins-esque (My Fair Lady) Stanley.

par: Dialogue.

par: Period costumes and setting,

Monday, August 11, 2014

Planes 2

Planes: Fire and Rescue [PG] - Animation/ Adventure/ Comedy
July 18, 2014 - Disney
Directed by Robert Gannaway

Grade: B
Up-graded from B.

Par: New characters including Blade Ranger (Ed Harris, voice), Lil’ Dipper (Julie Bowen).

-1: Story structure including “hero’s reward’ happy ending (Jeffery M. Howard, writer).

Par: Racing and fire fighting flying sequences.

+1: Art direction and design (Toby Wilson).

Par: Franchise serial installment.

Disclosure: Bryan works for Walt Disney Consumer Products, part of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Toon, producer of “Planes: Fire and Rescue,” is also a division of The Walt Disney Company.

Discloser 2: Bryan fell asleep for about 5-10 minutes in the middle about the the beginning of the sequence where Rusty begins his fire fighting training and the crew is introduced.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Disney Parks Blog - Banner Headers, part 9

If you know the date when something started, then you can mark or celebrate its anniversaries. For example, Disneyland’s official opening date is July 17, 1955. Every 17th of July, Disneyland celebrates its birthday with at least special cake at specified restaurants and ribbons or pins for Cast Members which proudly declare “It’s Our Birthday.”

Consider the fact that Walt Disney Pictures has been producing filmed entertainment for over 80 years while introducing hundreds of beloved characters, and Disney has opened 7 theme parks* since Disneyland each premiering new attractions every now and then. All those characters, films, Parks and attractions had starts and all of them have anniversaries. Disney Parks Blog (DPB) will celebrate anniversaries with special one-day sets of themed banner headers and some times accompany them with specially designed Blog logos. They do this for two reasons: 1) the blog format makes it easy to do so with virtually no additional overhead; 2) its fun to do so.

This year Disney had a number of celebration worthy anniversaries.

— Muppets —
10th Anniversary of Disney’s acquisition, Feb. 17, 2014

— Typhoon Lagoon —
25th Anniversary, June 1, 2014
Walt Disney World

— Donald Duck —
80th Birthday, June 9, 2014

— The Lion King —
20th Anniverary, June 15, 2014

— The Twilight Zone® Tower of Terror —
20th Anniversary, July 22, 2014
Disney’s Hollywood Studios, WDW

— Haunted Mansion —
45th Anniversary, August 9, 2014
Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Disneyanadocious rating so far: (9/10): D D D D D D D D D -

*Although included in the count, Tokyo Disneyland is own by The Oriental Land Company.

All Images © Disney Enterprises.