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Joy Roxas 08540047 453 Design Report

ABSTRACT
Failure is something people shy away from, our cultural and individual fear of failure tends to obscure the fact that it is an important part of the creative process. For many of us, failure is best conceptualized as a deviation from expected and desired results (Serrat, 2010) and through a range of exercises with an audience, IDEOs Tim Brown was able to prove that creativity and play goes hand-in-hand and that playfulness helps do our jobs better (Brown, 2008). That as adults (when it comes to being creative), we grow to fear sharing and showing of ideas because of judgement and shame. Through the methodology of case study analysis, I investigated two research papers from two fields, Failure in art and product design and Failure in organizations. Along-side three TEDtalks that focus on creative thinking from the points of view of a Psychologist, a Writer and a Designer. My strategy is to design a visual system that will aid creative thinkers in engaging with the issue of Failure. Focusing on different groups of creatives and studying the variety of methods used to deal with their own personal experiences. To change the perception and behaviour towards the issue and prove that it can be harnessed as a positive tool in the creative process.

ANALYSIS
I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that wont work Thomas Edison Even the geniuses of the past had experiences with Failure, a lot of important ideas need time to take its course - sometimes decades of it. My definition of Failure is simply not being able to achieve something. Its not so different to what the internet suggests, defining it as a lack of success or an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing (Google Dictionary) and both definitions having clear negative connotations. T.D. Johansson noted on Failure in the performative tactics of art and product design (Johansson, 2007) that mistakes and mishaps are things that the modern designer usually seeks to avoid and exclude in his/her practice. He speaks about

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Modernity as fundamentally about the systematic realisation and elimination of mistakes, but ironically ended up being damaging to the society. Johansson noted that the method to drive mistakes and errors away in a hasty manner to achieve effective solutions was embedded in user centred design and related disciplines. In a research by Olivier Serrat on Embracing Failure she suggests that we should simply learn from children, they have no fear of falling short and that they are resilient and never give up. They embrace failure and adapt until they achieve the desired result (Serrat, 2010). She suggests that the ability to play is a crucial part of a childs learning process and this eagerness to participate leads to knowing and exploration. As adults, we have lost that eagerness to play because in areas such as organizations, we are not paid to fail. Mistakes and errors are understandably looked down upon and tends to belittle reputation along with self-confidence and self-esteem. Because of the consequences it has on work and mentality, many tend to be reluctant about admitting failure, this leads to a lack of chance-taking and experimentation. The key to establishing learning systems is tolerance of failure, continuous feedback on effectiveness, and willingness to foster creativity and innovation, put simply by Serrat. Those who succeed, fail well. Its the way they perceive failure that makes all the difference and realising that it can be our friend and not our enemy. Its allowing self-assessment and examination that allows us to learn from these experiences that will define progress. On a similar note, IDEOs Tim Brown explored the idea of Creativity and Play at a TED conference in 2008. He performed three exercises with the audience to manifest his idea that as adults, we are afraid to share and show our ideas to each other because of our fear of judgement. Comparing us to kids who are not embarrassed and are free to play indicating that playfulness helps do our jobs better (Brown, 2008). He also talks about our desire to be original as a form of editing and revision in our work and has become a bad habit, suggesting that to be able to break the old rules, we need new ones. So how do we change a habit? Positive psychology is The Happy Secret to Better Work advocates Shawn Achor. He said that our brain focuses on the negative and that we need to reverse the formula for happiness and success (Achor, 2012). He suggests five ways to be able to do so; through gratitude, journaling, exercise, meditation and random acts of kindness. He believes that through this process our brain will rewire and habits will change, its about training our brains and finding a way to be positive in the present. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert also spoke on TED in 2009 on

Nurturing Creativity and discusses notions about high expectations which lead to fear-based reactions and implies that accepted collectively, that notion of creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked (Gilbert, 2009). That to be able to survive, we need positive thinking and encouragement and a protective barrier from our work. Gilbert advises that we shouldnt be daunted at the expectations of our creative work but to take control and just show up for our part of the job. Collectively, I found that this research and analysis on Failure highly rational and credible. The design issues being examined are more towards the way we do our work and how we react to it and the issue at its core sits on the discipline itself. As creatives, we need to invite Failure into the process rather than shy away from it. Failure strangles us from taking risks and exploring wild ideas due to fear of judgement and shame. The corresponding ideas by Serrat and Brown on children and play reveal the truth by relating our older selves to our colourful past. Transforming the way we think towards Failure and changing old habits will allow us to use it to our advantage and will make the creative process much more liberating. Creative thinkers need to be positive thinkers, we need to allow ourselves to fail and assess ourselves as we go along to be able to make progress and continue learning from experiences. Methods suggested by Achor will aid me in finding similar methods to fulfil my goal of designing a system that will engage with this issue. Failure is significant because it is an unavoidable event, it is a set of emotional obstacles that we have to deal with not just in the creative process but in our daily lives, in all sorts of shapes and forms. Yet we have little knowledge of how to utilize it to make us work and live fully. Creatives are visual people and how we understand Failure can be solved through different types of visual aid. Design is an appropriate response because it is able to match peoples needs, it is a humancentered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and creative (Brown, n.d.). Through current and imminent research on the topic, I will devise a way to solve this problem and hopefully transform the way we engage with Failure.

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SYNTHESIS
After analysing the topic and creating a starting point I decided to create a 14-question survey that was targeted towards those in the creative field. Published through a free survey service online and broadcasted on twitter and emailed to creative peers. These are the questions asked: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 Your Gender? How old are you? In your own words, what would you describe Failure as? Which creative field are you associated in? What is considered a Failure in your particular field? Do you think Failure is a positive or negative aspect in your work? In your field, are you more likely to take creative risks? / challenge yourself? Why do you think most people are afraid to fail? Do you believe that Success is the opposite of Failure? What are your initial reactions/feelings when you have Failed? Do you have methods of dealing with Failure? If you do, what are they? If you could encourage someone who has just experienced Failure in their field, what would you tell them? Do you think that Failure is an important part of the creative process? If you could transform the way Failure is generally perceived in the creative process, how would you approach it?

Coming up with the questions was an intricate task and I found myself sifting through a number of rough question options before publishing the survey. I wanted enough open-ended questions that will give me a sufficient amount of data to work with as well as enough close-ended questions that will help the flow of the survey. Because it resulted to be a heavy data survey, I took the first 14 answers from the first week for analysis. With this information I created a set of visuals (FIG. 1) using a technique similar to word-mapping which is an effective way of acquiring and retaining knowledge of vocabulary by the means of graphically mapping key words. With this technique I was able to clearly see the patterns in the data. The survey resulted with 100% response coming from the age group 18-29 with 73% female and 64% being designers. I found that almost every single creative felt an instant negative response to Failure (Q.10), words such as disappointment and embarrassment linking to fear, which

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is highly based on what others think (Q.08). Question 8 results were particularly intriguing because the answers were much more detailed and seemed highly self-reflective when compared to many of the other direct questions in the survey. While a few responses were reassuring about the idea of Failure and when it came to questions that involved thinking about a solution to this issue (Q.12, Q.14) the tone changes and become more positive. It was clear that as creatives we set high expectations towards our work and are very self-critical especially when it comes to Failure. The great Dalai Lama once said that expectations is the foundation of failure (Lama, n.d.). The data showed that when it came to talking about other people and their failures the answers were much more valuable, inspiring and optimistic. Collectively this process has showed a respectable amount of data and highlighted clear patterns towards the topic. It gave me a better insight and further knowledge towards how others respond to Failure. Although many of the answers were predictable it allowed me to reinforce findings and theories on the topic. I believe that everyone can benefit from these results, not just creatives and not just those in the 18-29 age bracket. Everyone experiences failure and can certainly relate to the initial reactions and feelings of others that experience it. What I learnt from this activity is that Failure in the creative process is inevitable and is highly personal, we set ourselves expectations and we allow the organizations around us to define the meaning of success. This has exposed us to thinking that failure is inherently the opposite of success rather than it being a stepping-stone to success. The fear of judgement and criticism from others limits risks and creative experimentation. The results for Question 7 suggested that every single one of the 14 creatives takes creative risks or challenges themselves in their field. The definition of creative risk is also very personal and everyone has a different stance on what is considered a risk or a challenge. I think the response towards that particular question were idealistic, Im convinced that we all want to take those risks in our field yet no one would have the ability to establish what is and what isnt a risk as theres just too many variables to consider. I do think it deserves high regard knowing that people want to see themselves as risk-takers. Risk is an important ingredient in the recipe of Failure, not saying that safety doesnt lead to it also, but in most cases those risks which lead to failure can further lead to success. It would be far-fetched to think that we can transform the way we respond to Failure because these feelings of resentment, numbness and guilt (Q.10) are simply human, they are initial reactions to a

dismal event. But I feel strongly about the ability to transform the way we approach and harness Failure. Making use of it and really focusing on how it can amplify ones creative process. This process has made me realize a lot of things about this topic, its a mixture of revelations and definitely clarity. The answers are imprinted in peoples experiences and actions, it is all there out in the open for us to see, we just have to look closely to notice it. All the research and survey data investigated merry and roll into one crystal clear ball. That Failure feels awful but we can learn a lot from it. The direction I want to take from this point forward is to embrace the topic and truly advocate ideas about Failure. This has led me towards exploring the purpose of Manifestos. Traditionally, a manifesto is a public declaration of policy issued before an election by a political party or candidate. Although Im not taking a political stance on the topic I am focusing on the power of idea proclamation. The word manifesto actually derives from the Latin word manifestum which means clear or conspicuous. I will look into previous manifestos in the areas of politics, art and technology and study how I can use these paradigms to aid me in possibly creating a manifesto about Failure. I think that manifestos speak of an idea in a way that is establishing itself and this will be the starting point for this concept in terms of creating content and having an idea for the final outcome. I will reflect in this idea further and see its potential and aim to go deeper into the heart of the topic. My ultimate goal is to have complete authority over it, while being self-aware and taking productive risks in the process.

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(FIG. 1) Visuals created to map survey data.

PROPOSAL
Strategy Can Failure be seen as a positive tool in the creative process by using visual communication design to engage and inform? By using appropriate techniques in graphic design and creative thinking, I will construct a manifesto advocating the ideas about Failure in the creative process. This will be used as a tool to encourage and introduce creatives to the benefits of Failure and communicate methods which will help them take charge of the issue in a positive tone and manner. The goal is to flip the perception towards Failure and potentially change the way they approach and react to it in future situations. Brief By researching previous manifestos, analysing and studying the material, I will use this as the basis for creating a manifesto of my own. Applying the topic of failure and constructing a set of rules/guidelines which advocates the issue, as well as a set of methods that go hand-in-hand with these rules. From here, I will create a visual style that resonates with the topic in the appropriate tone and manner. I will also utilise Twitter and other online services to receive instant feedback which I will document and continue to visualise as the project goes on. Ongoing testing and sharing of current content to the target audience will be a crucial part of this project and having a constant 2-way conversation with creatives will aid me in refining the concept. Finally, I will explore options for medium and how the proposal can be presented in the most appropriate manner for exhibition.

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TIMELINE
Week 1 Presentation and discussion with supervisor of project developed in 222.453. The projects design brief is finalised and posted onto Stream. To-Do Continue developing concept, and respond to latest feedback and critique from tutor and peers.

Week 5 Presentation of progress to a small audience. You will have 10 minutes to present plus 5 minutes for questions and discussion.

Develop and refine project. Prepare for presentation and make sure to test with another audience prior.

Week 13a Hand-in Completed project Workbook, Report / A1 info-graphic poster.

Finalize hand-ins and print early. Fully update online workbook.

Week 13b The Final Presentation is to a panel consisting of your supervisor, one other lecturer, and a guest assessor from relevant industry.

Setup project at allocated exhibition space. Create business cards and invite friends and family.

Week 14 The work is finally viewed in-situ in the exhibition space. An integrated component, up to a maximum of 5% addition to the grade.

Enjoy the work that has been created this year! ... Party!!!

REFERENCES
Reports In-text: (Serrat, 2010) Serrat, O. (2010). Embracing Failure. (International Publications, Paper 174). New York, United States. Retrieved from http:// digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/intl/174 In-text: (Johansson, 2007) Johansson T. D. (2007). Notes on Failure: Mistakes, Errors, and Failure in the Performative Tactics of Art and Product Design. Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/HLXV4w Online Videos In-text: (Gilbert, 2009) Gilbert, E. (2009, February) On Nurturing Creativity [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/elizabeth_ gilbert_on_genius.html In-text: (Brown, 2008) Brown, T. (2008, November) On Creativity and Play [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_brown_ on_creativity_and_play.html In-text: (Achor, 2012) Achor, S. (2012, February) The happy secret to better work [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_ brown_on_creativity_and_play.html Webpages In-text: (Google Dictionary) failure. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/HmX8Ei In-text: (Brown, n.d.) Brown, T. (n.d.) Change by Design. Retrieved from http://www. ideo.com/by-ideo/change-by-design?cbd

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up. (2009, December 21). Wired. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/ magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/ Achor, S. (2012, February) The happy secret to better work [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_ brown_on_creativity_and_play.html Brown, S. (2008). Fail better!: stumbling to success in sales & marketing: 25 remarkable renegades show how. London: Marshall Cavendish. Brown, T. (2008, November) On Creativity and Play [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/tim_brown_ on_creativity_and_play.html Collins, J. (2002). Manifesto for learning. London: Continuum. De Botton, A. (2009, July). A kinder, gentler philosophy of success [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/ alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success.html Embracing Failure. (2012, March 14). Business Week. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-14/mbajournal-embracing-failure Embracing Failure. (2012, January 5). Retrieved from http:// www.renjie.ca/2012/01/05/embracing-failure/ Embracing Failure. (2012, February 7). Retrieved from http:// www.nancynorbeck.com/2012/02/07/embracing-failure/ Embracing Failure Why learning how to fail will help you succeed. (2012, March 14). Retrieved from http://www.petergmcdermott.com/2012/03/embracing-failurewhy-learning-how-to-fail-will-help-yo u-succeed/ Fried J. (2010, November). Why work doesnt happen at work [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_ fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work.html Getting it Wrong: Surprising tips on how to learn. (2009, October 20). Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www. scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-it-wrong Gilbert, E. (2009, February) On Nurturing Creativity [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/elizabeth_ gilbert_on_genius.html

Goldberg, A. (2012). The analysis of failure: an investigation of failed cases in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. New York: Routledge. Grant, J. (1999). The new marketing manifesto: the 12 rules for successful marketing in the 21st century. London: Orion Business. Hamilton, S. (2007). Greed and corporate failure: the lessons from recent disasters. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Haque, U. (2011). The new capitalist manifesto: building a disruptively better business. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press. Harris, A. L. (2011). Kids dont want to fail: oppositional culture and the Black-White achievement gap. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Holt, J. (1990). How children fail. London: Penguin. Johansson T. D. (2007). Notes on Failure: Mistakes, Errors, and Failure in the Performative Tactics of Art and Product Design. Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/HLXV4w Johnson S. (2010, September). Where Good Ideas Come From [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_ johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from.html Klein, J. (2000). Corporate failure by design: why organizations are built to fail. Westport, Conn.:Quorum Books. Knowledge gained from failure lasts longer. (2010, August 23). University of Colorado. Retrieved from http://www.eurekalert. org/pub_releases/2010-08/uocd-uoc082310.php Ormerod, P. (2005). Why most people fail: evolution, extinction and economics. London: Faber and Faber; New York, N.Y.: Pantheon. Petroski, H. (2006). Success through failure: the paradox of design. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Raynor, M.E. (2011). The innovators manifesto: deliberate disruption for transformational growth. New York: Crown Business. Reducing Academic Pressure may help children succeed. (2012, March 12). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/03/academicpressure.aspx Responsive Design: One design for each job: Not Enough. (2012, March 28). Retrieved from http://www.awwwards.com/ responsive-design-one-design-for-each-job-not-enough.html

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Robson, T. (2010). Failure is an option: how setbacks breed success. Pymble, N.S.W.: HarperCollins. Rowling, J.K. (2008, June). The Fringe Benefits of Failure. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html Serrat, O. (2010). Embracing Failure. (International Publications, Paper 174). New York, United States. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell. edu/intl/174 Schulz, K. (2011, December). Dont regret regret [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_don_t_regret_regret.html Schulz, K. (2011, April). On Being Wrong [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http:// www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong.html Tan, A. (2008, April). Amy Tan on Creativity [TED Talks]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_tan_on_creativity.html What does teaching creativity look like. (2012, February 13). Good Education. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/post/what-does-it-mean-to-teachcreativity/ Why making creative schools requires radical change. (2011, September 23). Good Education. Retrieved from http://www.good.is/post/why-makingschools-creative-requires-radical-change/