Bruce Mau Incomplete Manifesto For Growth

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: 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. 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 you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas
of others.

18. 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.

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. Don’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.
Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

30. Organization = Liberty.
Real innovation in design, or 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 ‘charming 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 have failed.

32. Listen carefully.
Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or 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. Imitate.
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. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms.
Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces – what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference – the 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 it as a barometer of 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 aware 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 can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

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.

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The Lunch Pail Manifesto

1. We must find the work that brings our lives meaning.
2. We must strive to make our work purposeful, truthful, and authentic, a pure offering to our Muse and fellow human beings.
3. We must wage a lifelong war with Resistance and accept that instant gratification is an oxymoron.
4. We must not speak of our work with false modesty or braggadocio.
5. We must not debase our work for short term gain nor elevate it above its rightful station to inflate our ego.
6. We must not covet the fruits of our work, or the fruits of others’ work.
7. We must respect others’ work and offer aid to fellow professional laborers.
8. We must accept that our work will never be perfect.
9. We must accept that our work will never be without merit.
10. We must accept that our work will never cease.

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John C. Jay — 10 lessons for young designers

1. Be authentic. The most powerful asset you have is your individuality, what makes you unique. It’s time to stop listening to others on what you should do.

2. Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.

3. Get off the computer and connect with real people and culture. Life is visceral.

4. Constantly improve your craft. Make things with your hands. Innovation in thinking is not enough.

5. Travel as much as you can. It is a humbling and inspiring experience to learn just how much you don’t know.

6. Being original is still king, especially in this tech-driven, group-grope world.

7. Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them.

8. Instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.

9. The Golden Rule actually works. Do good.
10. If all else fails, No. 2 is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.

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MUJI manifesto

Because there is complexity in purity.
Elegance in plainness.
Intricacy in streamlining.
Richness in reduction.
Depth in minimalism.
Surprise in uniformity.
Innovation in re-use.
Cool in the avoidance of cool.
And there is true sophistication in simplicity.

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The Cult of Done Manifesto

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Manifesto

1. An honest ego in a healthy body.
2. An eye to see nature.
3. A heart to feel nature.
4. Courage to follow nature.
5. The sense of proportion (humor).
6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work.
7. Fertility of imagination.
8. Capacity for faith and rebellion.
9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance.
10. Instinctive cooperation.

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Leo Tolstoy Rules of Life

1. Get up early (five o’clock)
2. Go to bed early (nine to ten o’clock)
3. Eat little and avoid sweets
4. Try to do everything by yourself
5. Have a goal for your whole life, a goal for one section of your life, a goal for a shorter period and a goal for the year; a goal for every month, a goal for every week, a goal for every day, a goal for every hour and for evry minute, and sacrifice the lesser goal to the greater
6. Keep away from women
7. Kill desire by work
8. Be good, but try to let no one know it
9. Always live less expensively than you might
10. Change nothing in your style of living even if you become ten times richer

[Tolstoy is particularly fascinating — both because he wrote so extensively about happiness and because he made and broke so many resolutions himself. Spectacularly ... Tolstoy wrote these rules when he was 18 years old.]

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Henry Miller

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no new material to Black Spring.
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

[A boy from Brooklyn — Under a part titled Daily Program, his routine also featured the following wonderful blueprint for productivity, inspiration, and mental health:]

If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.
If in fine fettle, write.
Work on section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.
See friends. Read in cafés.
Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.
Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.
Paint if empty or tired.
Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

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Craig Oldham — 12 IN 12

1.  Understand what graphic design means to you.
2.  Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.
3.  A portfolio is for life, not just for an interview.
4.  Placements matter. Do them.
5.  The design industry is small, everyone knows everybugger else.
6.  Participate with other people and share your ideas.
7.  Graphic design is just a job, but being a designer is different.
8.  Fall off your bike. If you don’t fail then you are not trying.
9.  Life and work exist outside of London.
10. Designing is only about 20% of your job.
11. Have a life outside of design.
12. Work hard and be nice to people.

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Holstee Manifesto

This is your life.
Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop;
they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing, life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once; seize them.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Live your dream, and wear your passion.
Life is short.

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Chuck Norris Manifesto

1. I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.
2. I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.
3. I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family.
4. I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.
5. If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.
6. I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
7. I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness.
8. I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.
9. I will always remain loyal to God, my country, family and my friends.
10. I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country, and myself.

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“Wiedenisms” by Wieden and Kennedy

Find people who make you better.
Patience and progress are fucking hard.
Fail harder.
The work comes first.
Independence is everything.
Get rid of the crap.
Don’t say it, be it.

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10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy

The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.
Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
6. Check your quotations.
7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

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1. Bien peigné et chaussures propres.
2. Enlever systématiqument tout ce qu’il y a aux murs.
3. Ne jamais écouter de la musique avant 18 heures et sourtout pas la radio.
4. Laisser parler le client d’abord.
5. Etre modeste.
6. Le graphisme est un métier parmi tant d’autres.
7. Image et texte ne s’aiment pas et ne s’aimeront jamais.
8. Éviter de travailler le week-end et la nuit.
Travailler la nuit = mausvaise planification.
9. Un concept clair s’explique clairement.
10. Le Travail est fini quand on aime ce qu’on a fait.
11. Travailler longtemps ne mène pas forcément à un meilleur résultat.
12. Il faut savoir ce qui l’on fait.
13. Ne jamais faire deux propositions.
14. Il n’y a jamais une seule solution au problème.
15. Faire une chose à la fois.
16. Avoir lu au moins une fois “How To Work Better” de Peter Fischli & David Weiss.
17. Avoir des principes.
18. Éviter de pleurer face aux situations difficiles.
19. Ne pas trop attendre de la créativité.
20. Il faut croire à ses principes.
21. Si tu aimes ce que tu fais, les autres l’aimeront aussi.
22. La beauté naît de la rigueur.
23. Chaque projet a sa propre logique.
24. Une hiérarchie suffit.
25. Réduire le nombre de réponses aus questions.
26. Ne pas avoir de recettes.
27. Ne jamais se référer à soi-même.
28. Ranger les projets déjà traités.
29. Ne pas faire la cuisine au bureau.
30. Le bureau n’est pas un living room, ni une chambre à coucher.
31. Il faut rentrer quand on est fatigué.
32. Aller droit au but.
33. Le hasard peut faire mal les choses.
34. Écouter les autres.
35. Il n’y a pas UNE bonne solution, mais PLUSIEURS bonnes solutions.
36. Il faut choisir.
37. Connaître le problème peut éviter les mauvaises surprises.
38. Trouver le problème.
39. Comprendre le problème.
40. Éviter les difficultés n’est pas une solution.
41. Connaître son métier.
42. Un spécialiste fait peu de chose mais les fait bien.
43. Qualité et quantité.
44. Exiger un paiement correct.
45. Se méfier des modes.
46. Bien choisir ses projets.
47. Ne jamais dire oui se l’on voudrait dire non. Et vice versa.
48. Se questionner de temps en temps.
49. Questionner l’autre.
50. C’est OK de faire des erreurs. Mais pas deux fois la même.
51. Une structure à deux personnes est plus forte qu’une structure à une personne.
52. Les structures de trois à beaucoup de personnes sont floues.
53. Il y a beaucoup d’avis sur les couleurs.
54. Toujours recadrer les images d’artistes.
55. Se méfier des photographes.
56. La confiance est d’argent, le contrôle est d’or.
57. La couleur de la lettre est le noir.
58. Se méfier des graisses avec peu de chair à l’os.
59. Ne pas croire en son intuition.
60. Utiliser peu de mots.
61. No jokes.
62. Ne pas se prendre trop au sérieux.
63. Faire les choses sérieusement.
64. Celui qui paie a le droit de s’exprimer.
65. Qui s’excuse s’accuse.
66. David Carson est un menteur.
67. Le directeur artistique est superflu et surpayé.
68. Avoir l’esprit clair.
69. Push it to the limit.
70. Le net est supérieur au flou.
71. Utiliser peu de logiciels et les maîtriser.
72. Le vecteur est supérieur au pixel.
73. Accepter le fait qu’il y ait de bons et de mauvais graphistes.
74. La restriction libère.
75. L’art est inférieur aux sciences.
76. Aimer son métier, sinon il faut arrêter.
77. Toujours profiter des nouvelles technologies.
78. Un format laid donne un livre laid (Jan Tschichold).
79. Push it to the limit.
80. L’impression digitale n’est pas encore au point.
81. Voir pour le croire.
82. Ne jamais dépasser le budget.
83. Ne pas faire traîner les choses.
84. Tricher ne mène à rien.
85. Savoir prendre des vacances.
86. Etre honnête.
87. Ne pas surestimer son projet.
88. 72dpi ne sont pas suffisants.
89. Maltraiter son imprimeur avec respect.
90. Éviter le téléphone et l’e-mail.
91. Savoir faire la différence entre les bons et les mauvais commentaires.
92. Travailler ou manger (sens propre)
93. La densité est fascinante.
94. Savoir s’arrêter.
95. L’angle droit est supérieur à tout autre angle.
96. Le choix du caractère est primordial.
97. Le vide provoque, il faut le savoir.
98. Connaître ses limites et les accepter.
99. Push it to the limit.
100. Savoir déléguer du travail à d’autres spécialistes.
101. La couleur n’est pas aussi importante que l’on croît.
102. Le vide est moche.
103. La qulité d’un projet dépend toujours de sa conséquence.
104. C’est malheureusement le résultat qui compte.
105. Il y a des différences des goûts.
106. Il y a toujours une prochaine génération.
107. Éviter le pire.
108. Faire les choses avec plaisir.
109. Savoir travailler beaucoup.
110. Toujours faire mieux.
111. C’est souvent une question du goût.
112. C’est toujours une question de temps.
113. Push it to the limit.
114. Il faut être imprévisible.
115. Y penser deux fois.
116. Ne pas craindre les mauvaises réactions.
117. Savoir différencier le bon du mauvais goût.
118. Tout peut être considéré.
119. “Less” n’est pas toujours “more”.
120. Ne jamais faire d’exceptions.
121. Savoir recommencer un projet sans issue.
122. Les surprises sont toujour les bienvenues.
123. Éviter le pire.
124. Ne jamais se répéter.
125. Éviter les fautes d’orthographe.
126. Un festival de formats n’est jamais adéquat.
127. Ne jamais perdre le contrôle.
128. Ne jamais se laisser aller.
129. Strictement interdit aux chiens.
130. Le graphisme n’est pas un jeu.
131. Pierre qui roule n’amasse pas mousse.
132. Le plus grand contraste s’obtient entre le blanc et le noir.
133. Rien n’est jamais vraiment fini.
134. Pour expliquer quelque chose de visuel, il faut le visualiser.
135. Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano.
136. Les solutions rationnelles sont indéniables.
137. Le caractère DIN est toujours un très mauvais choix.
138. Simplifier est plus difficile que compliquer.
139. Réduire les moyens.
140. Extrême.
141. Ne jamais se contenter trop vite.
142. La beauté est la conséquence du juste.
143. Adopter des méthodes cartésiennes.
144. Quand un problème ne peut pas être résolu, ce n’est pas un problème.
145. Les détails font la différence.
146. Ne pas chinoiser.
147. Aucune liste n’est complète.

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Stefan Sagmeister’s
„Things I have learned in my life so far“

1. Helping other people helps me.

2. Having guts always works out for me.

3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.

4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.

5. Being not truthful always works against me.

6. Everything I do always comes back to me.

7. Assuming is stifling.

8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.

10. Money does not make me happy.

11. My dreams have no meaning.

12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.

13. Trying to look good limits my life.

14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.

15. Worrying solves nothing.

16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

17. Everybody thinks they are right.

18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

19. Low expectations are a good strategy.

20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.

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