Growing and showing — 8 philosophies for immersive experimentation

A symbol of a person surrounded by concentric circles

Feeling curious and playful like a young puppy, I’m thinking hard about the way to approach things on my new and exciting journey into immersive experience design.

Combining attitudes and lessons learned both from working as a designer and my own artistic practice over the last few years, here are my philosophies for experimentation:

Curious and Open
Curious and Open

Always seek new information and follow threads (you never know where you might end up).

Be curious and interested in people, anything and everything. Be open to new possibilities and things previously unimagined.

Stretch my edges
Stretch my edges

Push outwards to be challenged and grow

Be constantly playing with new mediums, tools and techniques across art, games and immersive. Embrace the fear. That’s where the magic happens!

As the great David Bowie once said:

“Always go a little further into the water than you feel you are capable of being in. Go a little out of your depth and when you don’t feel your feet are quite touching the bottom you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

Play and Make
Play and Make

Play don’t produce

Allow play and make time, with no purpose other than exploring something new. Explore different ways to convey an idea. Experiments can lead to happy accidents.

Willing to fail
Willing to fail

It will be shit, but keep going.

Hey life is one big experiment that we fail at all the time and that’s how we learn.

Look sideways
Look sideways

Widen the horizon for inspiration

Look to adjacent creative fields such as theatre, stage design and prop-making for inspiration, approaches and techniques.

Connect and remix
Connect and remix

Force unexpected connections

Multiple and varied projects widen the learning and help surface themes. Expose the work to see patterns and new connections. Use ideation techniques to force wider and unexpected thinking. When it’s done, try 10 new ways!

Collaborate and multiply
Collaborate and multiply

2, or 3, or 4 heads are (almost always) better than one

Find likeminded creators exploring new technologies and learn by collaborating. A roadmap of longer term and short term projects provides a combination of deep and shallow, slow and fast.

Share and grow
Share and grow

Share the work and process, warts and all

Be open to feedback, new ideas and most importantly, new collaborators.

As I prepare for this journey of exploration and no doubt many wrong turns and failures, I‘m hoping to find like-minded people to join me. .

If you’re a games maker, creative technologist, artist interested in chewing the fat or potentially collaborating, please drop me a line.

This article is part of a series documenting my journey as a UX designer and artist into the world of immersive experience.
Read about why I’m doing this here.

A UX designer and artist venturing into immersive worlds