Category Archives: To Do !

Bruce Mau’s ‘Incomplete Manifesto for Growth’


Bruce Mau is the Creative Director of , based in Toronto, Canada. In 2003, he founded the Institute Without Boundaries, a twelve-month interdisciplinary postgraduate program that aims to produce a new breed of designer, one who is, “a synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist, and evolutionary strategist. “ Mau is an exemplar of creativity, and in his “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth” articulates his beliefs, motivations and strategies. To read the full list go to his site:

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. 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.
7. Drift.  Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.
8. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
9. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.
10. 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.
11. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.
12. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black.
13. 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.
14. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.
15. ____________________. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.
16. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.
17. Be careful to take risks. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.
18. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.
19. 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.
20. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something tomorrow that you can’t see tonight.
21. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.
22. 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 … a ‘charming artifact of the past.’
23. Don’t borrow money. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.
24. 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.
25. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set.
26. Make mistakes faster. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.
27. 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.
28. Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.
30. Remember. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction.
31. 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.

thanks to Mary Stewart who sent this my way!

How to be an Explorer of the World!

New students! you will need to purchase the book, How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith. It will be available at the bookstore or get a jump on it and purchase it online at the AU bookstore or through Amazon. Here are the links:  AU Bookstore Amazon link: How to be an Explorer of the World.

Please note: DO NOT purchase the rental copy at the bookstore. This is an error, you will need to write in the book!


urlDate: Saturday, November 1st
Time: Noon –
Location: The National Casting Center, Sugar hill road, Alfred, NY
Cost to Attend Event: Free

The Sculpture and Dimensional Studies Department are pleased to support the 8th Annual Meltdown Cast Iron art invitational to be hosted at the National Casting Center at Alfred University on Saturday November 1st.

The event will be open to the public from Noon onwards and will feature a number of visiting artists and Universities, all of whom will be having work cast in iron. We will be running 2 furnaces throughout the course of the day and plan on pouring several thousand pounds of iron.

In addition to the main event there will also be a silent art auction supported by the Alfred Foundry Guild, proceeds from which will be going to support various charitable organizations.

Kira O’Reilly !

SWITZERLAND ARTS ABRAMOVIC (3)Visiting Artist Lecture: Kira O’ Reilly
Date: 6 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 29, 2014
Location: Room 106 C, Binns-Merrill Hall

Kira O’Reilly is a UK-based artist. Her practice is both willfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined, and stems from a visual art background. In her work she employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing to consider speculative reconfigurations around the body.

Since graduating from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 1998, her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, China and Mexico. She has presented at conferences and symposia on live art and science, as well as art and technology interfaces.

Cosponsored by: The Division of Sculpture/Glass Area, SOAD, College of Ceramics, and Interdisciplinary Art, CLAS with support from the Dance Program in Performing Arts, CLAS, Alfred University and Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn.

WELCOME BACK! Spring 2014 Important Information

Several things will be different in both the structure and the content of Foundations in the spring semester. Firstly I have re-assigned groups. There are 4 groups of approx. 25 students; they are called A, B, C and D Groups. Each group will be engaged in a series of 4 half semester workshop classes called LABs. The LABs continue and expand upon concepts that were introduced in the fall semester.

The first week back from break the whole class will be involved in a group activity you will be engaged in a bookmaking workshop that involves library research and the compilation of images and text. Click here to find a series of worksheets that will help you to gather information and materials for the workshop. We will meet in the Harder Hall studio at 8 am on Tuesday, January 21st please bring a notebook and your completed homework to class that day.

Click here to see a list of groups for Spring and here to find out 2014 Spring schedule. Click here to see the MAKE_student_materials_spring_2014 and the rest of the Spring 2014 Materials Lists. This is a list of what you will need to bring back to campus.

Safe travels back to campus! Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Katie, Angie, and Ted