March 13, 2006

SXSW Interactive: How To Maintain a Design Playground

I'm at the Maintaining a Design Playground panel. Description from SXSW site:

Everybody needs a place to fail, but a commercial design project is not that place. Design playgrounds are personal, pressure-free, online environments that encourage free design play and unfettered experimentation. Successful design is a diamond hidden in the mine field of failure, and design playgrounds plunder that mine field. Panelists will share the history and practice of their own design playgrounds, and discuss how these playgrounds have influenced their commercial work.

Panelists include:

  • Moderator: Curt Cloninger , University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • Dustin Hostetler, upso.org
  • Jemma Hostetler, Sans Nom

My notes (not actual quotes):

Curt: Design is like the stack of spring loaded plates in the cafeteria... the good idea is twenty plates down... the playground is the place to get through the first twenty plates. The playground is a place to fail, learn, keep track of your progress. Shows his playground full of crazy animated gifs. Playground: http://playdamage.org/

Jemma: Worked with Joshua Davis to make scripts for Flash pieces, then exports to Illustrator to continue playing. Says it's great to have the archive of experiments. The more you put up on the site, the more you'll get out of it. Playground: http://www.prate.com/

Dustin: Uses the playground to store projects that don't necessarily make it into production. Doesn't really like a lot of his earlier work on the site, but doesn't take it down, uses that early work as a motivator. Playground: http://www.upsod.com/

Curt also has a list of playgrounds that various designers maintain.

at March 13, 2006 9:59 AM