Frameworks for Exploring Chance in the Creative Process
In risk-averse contexts such as professional graphic design practice and the post-secondary classroom, final outcomes are often evaluated far more than the processes that informed them. Although final artefacts can be criticized as successes or failures via a variety of criteria, applying these same terms to developments in the creative process is a mistake. ‘Failures’ are simply iterations that deviate from predetermined expectations; all steps in the process are valuable and inform the outcome. Developing the ability to recognize the potential inherent in the unexpected and appreciate the role of chance in the design process is critical to creative growth. ‘Playful’ investigations—that are more concerned with processes than outcomes—are essential in challenging perceptions about the role of failure in the development of design solutions. Methods for facilitating chance and engaging the play instinct in the studio and classroom include, but are not limited to, adopting limitations and constraints, creating and modifying tools, synthesizing both new and ‘dead’ technologies, and engaging in collaborative exercises. Guided by the psychologies of flow and play, Frameworks for Exploring Chance in the Creative Process is a small collection of exploratory methodologies for generating happy—and somewhat intentional—accidents.