Tuesday, March 29, 2005

MAUssive Change

You may already know of Bruce Mau, the showy and ambitious Canadian designer. (His exhibition, Massive Change”, http://www.massivechange.com/ , is at the Art Gallery of Ontario till mid-May.)

Mau, a designer, writer, entrepreneur and self-appointed social critic, has a pretentious but endearing philosophy of life, business, art and design that he calls his “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.” It’s worth reading for his ideas on creativity, collaboration, and things like “making mistakes faster.”

The best way to read it, though, is at http://www.textism.com/maunifesto/ . It’s part of an intermittent blog by Dean Allen, who claims to be “a recovering graphic designer” from Canada now residing in the south of France. On Allen’s page, you get both Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto and Allen’s annotated comments – which are biting, cynical and funny. So you get the best of both worlds – interesting pontifications about creativity, and the cynical translation.

Where Mau advises (point 13): “Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves;” Allen interprets that as designer-speak for, “And this is why the sketches were late.”

Fun, eh? I liked this point by Mau (No. 14): “Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.” Allen translates that as: “We don’t acknowledge cool. Isn’t that cool?”

This page manages to appeal to both sides of me at the same time: idealist and cynic.
Have fun with it, at http://www.textism.com/maunifesto/

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