#099 Research Week
Common Discourse is a project designed to help others (and ourselves) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work—from Alex Tan & Alice Otieno.
Every Tuesday we share an idea from us, a quote from somebody else, and links worth sharing. On Fridays we invite a guest to share images from their camera roll and a sound that resonates with them.
We purposely have little to no constraint when working on Research Center projects. The hope is that it gives ourselves the opportunity to learn new skills, techniques, and methods of thinking—enabling us to anticipate how new technologies and models of communication will impact the design industry.
The question and ongoing battle we all have to fight when launching internal, self-initiated projects, is not how you get them off the ground, but how do you keep them alive? We’ve done enough of these over the years to know that paying clients and urgent deadlines take precedence, unless you decide that they don’t.
This year we’re taking the jump. For a full week, every quarter, we’re shutting down studio operations. No meetings, no presentations, and no deliverables.
An entire week to dream, explore, and create for every single person on the team.
It’s been one day and it feels like I’ve come up for air already.
I’m excited to see what we end up with at the end of this week. People are exploring topics like the theory of play, the dynamically evolving relationship between verbal and visual communication, image making with AI, magnifying the way love is infused in everything we experience, and much more.
But I’m mostly excited that we’ve decided, as a team, to prioritize our curiosity.
An idea from us
I. THE FIRST TIME
We almost never get it right the first time. This is an important realization to make. Because once we do, we’ve freed ourselves from the unrealistic idea of perfect.
It’s okay to get it wrong the first time, but only if we make it better the next time.
A quote from somebody else
“Donna Tartt once said in an interview that if the writer’s not having fun the reader isn’t either. I think people make the best things when they love the process, when they willingly shoulder the inherent uncertainty and pain that comes with it. It’s almost like a form of prayer: you offer up what you can even though the reward is uncertain. You do it out of love.”
— Ava Huang on Effort, Bookbear Express
Links worth sharing
🌐 The new Mouthwash Studio website is now live. Year 5 and still going. I love this team.
🍪 Less than 100 pages in, but would recommend you pick up Kyle Chayka’s Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture.
🧱 For the last 18 months, we have been working with Barcelona-based architecture firm Mesura. Rarely do we have the opportunity to shape a brand’s strategy, positioning, visual identity, art direction, and digital design all in one go. I’m proud of this project. Click around the website but follow MW.S social for more specific details.
☝🏼 AI Texture Generator by Polycam
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