Many of those in and out of the art and design world have heard of Bruce Mau. He is a visionary creative who has positively influenced and shaped the way many think, act, and design for the better. I first came across his Incomplete Manifesto for Growth a few years back, and then saw it again on a sketchbook this past Christmas in Whistler, which I bought for Rob, who was in a bit of a creative rut.
The Manifesto is a great set of ideas to reflect upon, as they speak to many aspects of life. Just like a Buddhist koan, I like to take time and read the Manifesto and examine how some of these ideas ring true for me and do or do not exist within my life. I have included a few of my favorites below, but would encourage you to read the entire list for yourself and let me hear your thoughts.
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.
5. Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.
13. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.
32. 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. Neither party will ever be the same.
While these are in no way the “best” ones, they all ring true in my experience, and I find them valuable to reflect on. Again, here is the link to the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. On a completely separate note, Mau’s site is run off of Cargo CMS and is absolutely beautiful. It’s multicolor polaroid-esque magic and I highly suggest visiting it.