Incomplete Manifesto for GrowthIncomplete Manifesto for GrowthIncomplete Manifesto for Growth

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

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.

14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

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.

– from Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Tell me more: In 1998, the designer Bruce Mau published a 43-point program for what “design process” can look, feel and sound like. One of our favorite irreverent manifestos, the piece is overtly incomplete, as a nod to the “design is never done” approach that we take in our classroom. We love his advice and how it might play out for students both in school and out of school. The manifesto gives us permission to be imperfect, to ask questions, and to always ask why. “Capture accidents.” “Explore the other edge.” “Laugh.” (We reference Mau’s “stupid questions” – #15 –  in our own Unprofessional Development credo.)

Classroom applications:

  • We have used this manifesto as “Weekly Wisdom,” where each week we choose one item from his text, plaster it on our classroom wall, and live by it every day.
  • Students might design a poster to illustrate their favorite of the 43 points – a twist on the ubiquitous “classroom rules” – or they might propose a 44th point of their own.
  • We’re also inspired by other rules for living, like Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s How to Work Better (“Accept Change as Inevitable”). How do these lists, and others, provide us with a framework for working? How might we use these to explicitly teach the idea of process in our classrooms?

Going further: