Okay, we have some ideas about what we're doing. They're just scrawled on whiteboards and orange sticky notes, which are pasted to a board wrapped in butcher paper and blue tape. We have notebooks full of raw ideas and an empty tumblr. We just figured out how to use Slack, and we think we have the bones of our first team-bonding experience. We sorely need it because we still talk to one another like new kids at school.
Welcome to the media designers experiment ... or media designers collaboratory ... or media design project. We're not quite sure what to call it yet, exactly. Experiment? Collaboratory? Project? What do you think? Seriously, we just had our third meeting and we haven't made up our minds.
Is any of this a bad thing?
It's perfect, and here's why: The moment when you have no idea where you are going or how you are going to start moving is precisely where creative confidence kicks in. This is the moment when you realize why multidisciplinary teams are so important. This is when the mindset of a child is essential. This is when vulnerability, resting in discomfort with ease and writing blog posts that capture your process, no matter how ugly it is, are critical.
We could wait and write flowery press releases about how well our research is going and how remarkably smooth our process is. We could wait until we had a shiny, packaged finished product or when we felt most proud of our work. We could wait for those moments. But we choose not.
If, indeed, we are going to not only think outside of the box but blow it up entirely, that starts with us and our own process. If we are going to ask people to be vulnerable, we must do so ourselves. Most importantly, if we are going to ask others to enter into an exchange of learning with us, we have to offer up what we know -- even if it's just shy of nothing.
We are bathing in potential, swimming among planned explorations of vocabulary, vulnerability, curriculum, organization, talent, media and design. We are wrestling with problems, challenges and questions that matter deeply to each of us in different ways. Here is a metaphor from Seamus you may see a lot of in the coming weeks and months, and that describes where we are: We, like a butterfly, are still looking for a good place to lay the egg of this work.
Wait, how's that? Does it help explain where we are in our process? Seriously, if it doesn't, tell us. We want the feedback.
This is messy and uncomfortable, but we know we have each other, our collective curiosity, passion and drive.
We are almost entirely clueless, and it's absolutely perfect.
Read more about our collaboration with Knight Foundation around media design.