Ideas that add up #201

In their book Art and Fear, David Bayles and Ted Orland tell of a ceramics teacher who announced on the opening day of class that he was dividing the students into two groups. Half were told that they would be graded on quantity. On the final day of term, the teacher said he’d come to class with some scales and weigh the pots they had made. They would get an “A” for 50lb of pots, a “B” for 40lb, and so on. The other half would be graded on quality. They just had to bring along their one, pristine, perfectly designed pot.

The results were emphatic – the works of highest quality, the most beautiful and creative designs, were all produced by the group graded for quantity

BBC News Magazine, ‘Viewpoint: How creativity is helped by failure‘, November 14th 2015

How a craft is honed: learning and improving by doing, rather than by theorising about doing. Repeated trial and error to embed the mental and muscle memory best aligned to whatever it is we’re at. Daring to fail…

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