The end is finally in sight. Above is a photo of the newsprint posters I designed for This brings me joy: The Joy Project, which serves as the final project in my Pratt MFA Thesis. I’m trilled with how the posters turned out, despite last minute file issues when sending to the printer. I have over 1,000 of these posters, so if you’d like one, please let me know! The poster (above) opens further and larger discussing the project and giving opportunities for people to interact with the twitter account. I’ve started leaving these posters around the city, and will soon distribute all 1,000 of them.
After the newsprint poster was sent to the printer, I shifted ALL my focus to reworking my thesis paper – remember that? – the joyous 60+ page monster of a paper. After two weeks of work, I sent my totally reworked paper to my advisers, and now I’m patiently waiting for it to be accepted. As of now, I’m scheduled to defend on December 1st! So if all goes well, I should have all my final hurdles in completing this thesis done by the end of this week. So pray for me! I can’t even begin to tell you what a huge relief crossing these projects off my list has given me. I have so many ideas for all the projects I WANT to do, instead of HAVE TO finish, so in coming weeks I should have a bunch of new things in the works.
Before I wrap up this post – I wanted to share a GREAT source of inspiration I stumbled across in reworking my paper. I find the ideas of Bruce Mau to be very inspiring for what I’m trying to accomplish in my thesis, but they can apply to anyone really, designers and non-designers. Like Debbie Millman, I’m more interested in his ideas/approach to design than what he actually designs. As I say in my paper, “In my thesis, I’m investigating the power of joy and delight to grow as a designer and creator. Joy is an opportunity and has the power to transform and empower. This sense of empowerment can take countless applications, especially in design.” The ideas of Mau are a great example of a designer focused on the subject of growth, and an important precedent in my paper … so I wanted to share his ideas with you!
“An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth”
Written in 1998, the Incomplete Manifesto is an articulation of statements exemplifying Bruce Mau’s beliefs, strategies and motivations. Collectively, they are how we approach every project.
- 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: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.
- 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.
- Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.
- Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
- Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
- Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge.
And here it is – the 1st page of the final paper, documenting my inquiry into joy … a year and a half in the making!