Week Four: Outcome and Ambition

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

On reflection, how have self-initiated projects helped shape your studio identity?

Christoph Miller:

  • Help find out what you're interested in.

  • Act as a filter and show what you like to work on and how you like to work.

  • They're flexible.

  • Your vision counts.

  • A self-initiated project allows you to show off what you're capable of.

Verònica Fuerte:

  • A lot of the commercial projects come through side projects.

  • They're crucial for the studio.

  • Side projects are more flexible.

Vince Frost:

  • Participating in client projects and design briefs have been really great for expression.

Sam Bompass:

  • Self-initiated projects put us on the map.

  • Self-initiated projects can earn you more money, but there's risk involved.

  • They help define your voice.

  • They belong to you.

James Stringer:

  • Self-initiated projects shaped studio identity.

What are the main differences between self-initiated work and collaborative, client-led projects?

Christoph Miller:

  • Client projects are paid.

  • Sel-initiated projects aren't paid.

  • A self-initiated project can be a bit of a risk.

  • You can learn from self-initiated projects about themes you're really interested in.

  • There are hierarchies with client-led projects.

  • Self-initiated projects led by you, you are in charge of the final outcome.

Whenever aesthetics are into play, your personality is a big part of it as well.

-Christoph Miller

  • Self-initiated projects reflect your personality.

Verònica Fuerte:

  • There isn't the pressure of client projects.

  • There is no deadline.

  • There is more satisfaction when people like the work you've created from a self-initiated project.

Vince Frost:

  • With a client project, you have a clear deadline.

  • Clear brief and expectations.

  • A self-initiated projects mind is very wondering.

  • There's no beginning and end.

Sam Bompass:

  • You're your own boss.

  • Working with someone else on a self-initiated project helps with motivation.

  • Try and find a way to monetise self-initiated work.

James Stringer:

  • Clients have been attracted through self-initiated work.

The WAYBACK Project

  • To help people with dementia and their carers reignite conversations about the past and positive memories.

  • Helping grandchildren connect with their grandparents.

  • Inspired by one of the founder's (Dan Cole's) dad living with dementia.

  • Raised money through friends, family and crowdfunding.

  • Worked on it around a full-time job.

  • Contacted relevant people within the film industry.

Image: https://www.elder.org/the-elder/restoring-lost-memories-for-those-living-with-dementia-the-wayback-project/

Image: https://www.elder.org/the-elder/restoring-lost-memories-for-those-living-with-dementia-the-wayback-project/

Workshop Challenge

Image: Feedback- Week 4: Ideas Wall: Application and Interactions GDE740 21/22 Part-Time Study Block S1 (falmouth.ac.uk)

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This self-initiated project was a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot throughout the whole process. One of the key things I have learned is to let the research guide your ideas rather than jumping ahead. I've done that a lot throughout this course due to panicking about time; however, this doesn't produce the best outcome. Self-initiated projects are extremely valuable for designers to generate work that fuels enthusiasm, interest and attract similar work. However, there are risks involved and difficulties regarding time, money and other resources that might not be readily available. With this in mind, self-initiated projects should be seen as an investment into your practice; although they might be challenging to get running, they can set you up as a designer and, in some cases, even put you on the map.

Regarding my project, I'm content with how it turned out, and I've received some great feedback. After one tweak to my brief, it eventually asked, "How can you visualise humour as a still image?" There are numerous ways to do this; however, discovering the Benign Violation theory through my research helped focus the project.


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/954/pages/week-4-lecture-outcome-and-ambition?module_item_id=56224 [Accessed 16 Oct. 2021].

Elder. (n.d.). The WAYBACK Project | Dementia Care. [online] Available at: https://www.elder.org/the-elder/restoring-lost-memories-for-those-living-with-dementia-the-wayback-project/ [Accessed 16 Oct. 2021].

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