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Iterate: ten lessons in design and failure

By: Sharp, John.
Contributor(s): Macklin, Colleen [Co-author] | Davis, Steven [Illustrator] | Chen, Yu Jen [Illustrator].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Cambridge The MIT Press 2019Description: xiv, 299 p.; ill. Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN: 9780262039635.Subject(s): Psychological aspects | Design - Technique | Failure - PsychologyDDC classification: 745.4 Summary: How to confront, embrace, and learn from the unavoidable failures of creative practice; with case studies that range from winemaking to animation. Failure is an inevitable part of any creative practice. As game designers, John Sharp and Colleen Macklin have grappled with crises of creativity, false starts, and bad outcomes. Their tool for coping with the many varieties of failure: iteration, the cyclical process of conceptualizing, prototyping, testing, and evaluating. Sharp and Macklin have found that failure—often hidden, covered up, a source of embarrassment—is the secret ingredient of iterative creative process. In Iterate, they explain how to fail better. After laying out the four components of creative practice—intention, outcome, process, and evaluation—Sharp and Macklin describe iterative methods from a wide variety of fields. They show, for example, how Radiolab cohosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich experiment with radio as a storytelling medium; how professional skateboarder Amelia Bródka develops skateboarding tricks through trial and error; and how artistic polymath Miranda July explores human frailty through a variety of media and techniques. Whimsical illustrations tell parallel stories of iteration, as hard-working cartoon figures bake cupcakes, experiment with levitating office chairs, and think outside the box in toothbrush design (“let's add propellers!”). All, in their various ways, use iteration to transform failure into creative outcomes. With Iterate, Sharp and Macklin offer useful lessons for anyone interested in the creative process. Case Studies: Allison Tauziet, winemaker; Matthew Maloney, animator; Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, Radiolab cohosts; Wylie Dufresne, chef; Nathalie Pozzi, architect, and Eric Zimmerman, game designer; Andy Milne, jazz musician; Amelia Bródka, skateboarder; Baratunde Thurston, comedian; Cas Holman, toy designer; Miranda July, writer and filmmaker https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/iterate
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Table of Contents

Section I Creativity, Failure, and Iteration
1.Creativity
2.Failure
3.Iteration
4.Ten Perspectives on Iteration

Section II Ten Perspectives
5.Material Contexts: Allison Tauziet, Winemaker
6.Reflective Contexts: Matthew Maloney, Animator
7.Targeted Intentions: Radiolab
8.Exploratory Intentions: Chef Wylie Dufresne
9.Methodological Processes: Nathalie Pozzi, Architect, and Eric Zimmerman, Game Designer
10.Improvisational Processes: Andy Milne, Musician
11.Internal Evaluation: Amelia Brodka, Professional Skateboarder
12.External Evaluation: Baratunde Thurston, Comedian
13.Convergent Outcomes: Cas Holman, Toy Designer
14.Divergent Outcomes: Miranda July, Artist

Section III Failing Better
15.Failing Better.

How to confront, embrace, and learn from the unavoidable failures of creative practice; with case studies that range from winemaking to animation.

Failure is an inevitable part of any creative practice. As game designers, John Sharp and Colleen Macklin have grappled with crises of creativity, false starts, and bad outcomes. Their tool for coping with the many varieties of failure: iteration, the cyclical process of conceptualizing, prototyping, testing, and evaluating. Sharp and Macklin have found that failure—often hidden, covered up, a source of embarrassment—is the secret ingredient of iterative creative process. In Iterate, they explain how to fail better.

After laying out the four components of creative practice—intention, outcome, process, and evaluation—Sharp and Macklin describe iterative methods from a wide variety of fields. They show, for example, how Radiolab cohosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich experiment with radio as a storytelling medium; how professional skateboarder Amelia Bródka develops skateboarding tricks through trial and error; and how artistic polymath Miranda July explores human frailty through a variety of media and techniques. Whimsical illustrations tell parallel stories of iteration, as hard-working cartoon figures bake cupcakes, experiment with levitating office chairs, and think outside the box in toothbrush design (“let's add propellers!”). All, in their various ways, use iteration to transform failure into creative outcomes. With Iterate, Sharp and Macklin offer useful lessons for anyone interested in the creative process.

Case Studies: Allison Tauziet, winemaker; Matthew Maloney, animator; Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, Radiolab cohosts; Wylie Dufresne, chef; Nathalie Pozzi, architect, and Eric Zimmerman, game designer; Andy Milne, jazz musician; Amelia Bródka, skateboarder; Baratunde Thurston, comedian; Cas Holman, toy designer; Miranda July, writer and filmmaker

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/iterate

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