Maverick is a BA(Hons) Graduation Project during the final year at LASALLE, College of the Arts. It is a project which provides Singaporean design students aged 25 to 29 with a resource to fail productively. By employing the use of a digital repository and a toolkit, it elicits conscious iteration and formalised reflection in creative processes in order for creativity to be more deliberate and less governed by the fear of failure in collectivist cultures.

The outcome is a response to these key research inquiries:

How does learning occur in a post-pandemic world? To what extent does our Confucian values influence the way we think creatively? How can we harness the value of failure without repercussions? Is there a method to self-reflection?

Insights from the research conducted prior to the outcome has revealed that learning in today’s context is vastly different from the past. Rather than being taught, there is more value in the learning which is derived from self-discovery and critical-thinking.

The proposed solution is to design a toolkit containing an Activity Book, accompanying tools, and a Pocket Guide. The toolkit aims to elicit Productive Failure through the activity of drawing a Self-Portrait with your eyes closed. By doing so, the user will recalibrate their expectations when drawing themselves, and motivates them to iterate.

The activity is split into 2 phases. The first is to allow for the participant to draw as they normally would, while the second phase will introduce the tools and structured reflection questions to help them detect failure better. At the end of the activity book, they will be able to experience and notice the difference of quality between both phases.

View the full Activity Booklet here.

Besides the physical toolkit, there is also a visual documentation and analysis from the user-testing. It is a compilation of the sketches and written reflection from the 10 participating Singaporean design students aged 25-29.

View the full Visual Documentation here.

There is also another component to the project, which is a digital repository. The website houses not only the self-portraits and written reflection from the participants, but it also contains the content, context and research articles. The aim of this component is to provide the audience a well-rounded research to the inquiry by situating the issue in its context. It hopes to inspire others to see the value in a reflective practice and productive failure.

Maverick’s digital repository can be visited here.

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