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Start doing

Posted December 2014

This is the favourite thing I learned this year. At the beginning of the year, we’d spend ages trying to neatly package-up concepts or strategies into tidy little intellectual parcels — easily understandable, bite-size, simple. We’d take them to the client, they’d understand them and tell us to get going. Awesome! So far, so simple.

When we’d start to try and make them real, we’d hit a wall. There was no room for manoeuvrability. No creativity. We’d already made our bed, and now we’d have to lie in it, even if new information came to light that could make the whole project loads better. We had robbed ourselves of the opportunity to prototype, to test, to iterate as we’d already sold in an intellectual framework that would end up being a creative prison.

Now, we try to start making things real as early as possible. It’s much easier to refine concepts and strategies when you have a selection of ‘real’ things to assess and discuss. One thing I’m finding really interesting is how to uncover new information relevant to the project through prototypes designed to provoke — using them as a research tool as well as a refinement tool.

In order to get this kind of process working, you need to have an environment that is supportive of it. You can’t be precious, you have to be able to fuck things up now-and-again, and be among people that are stupid and courageous and relaxed. You also need the necessary tools close-at-hand.

DIY or die, basically. Something I’m working on…

This text was originally posted as part of this article on Medium.