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. Good is what we all agree on.

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Two years ago, Bruce Mau unveiled a point program that took the design world by storm. Here is an incomplete selection from his incomplete manifesto. 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.

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. 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. 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. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly.

Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism. 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. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames, and surprising opportunities may present themselves. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black.

Free yourself from limits of this sort. 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. Intentionally left blank.

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. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better. 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.

Creativity is not device-dependent. Forget technology. Think with your mind. 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. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. 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.

I think it belongs to Andy Grove. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: Make up something else but not words. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it. 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.

Apparently, it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Power to the people. Play only happens when people feel that they have control over their lives.


Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

We have revamped our website and wanted to carry a select number of blogposts over to the new site and this is one of them. Hope you enjoy. I love this list. Bruce Mau is a well known self-taught Canadian designer who, until recently, worked primarily with brands and environments. His firm Bruce Mau Design continues this work, but Bruce Mau the man along with his wife has started a new venture called Massive Change, which was borne out of an art exhibition on the future of design. In this exhibition for the Vancouver Art Gallery Mau insisted that it be about ideas and developments that were changing the world rather than strictly visual results. The Massive Change project is taking design principles and strategies and applying them to real world social and political challenges.



Think with your mind. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces—what Dr. An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth Creativity is not device-dependent. But you also, as a reader, have to imagine it yourself. You talk constantly about the studio. Only instead of a Seurat, you have, you know, 40 dots on a page.

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