Creativity & Rules

A pecha kucha consists of 20 slides presented for 20 seconds each. Slides generally have minimal text and titles, and serve as visual grounding for the spoken narrative—which should not be verbose. I designed and presented this mini talk as part of my narrative and storytelling class, and fell in love with the brisk, in-the-moment nature of the format. Below, I have put small guiding thoughts that relate to the slides, rather than trying to recreate the full spoken content of the presentation.
Raw creativity can feel overwhelming and chaotic, so it's important to put it in context.
We can leverage our natural predisposition toward logic and reason to improve how we design.
When pieces of a design system fit together well, you can focus more on bringing imagination to life.
Placing constraints on art forces new kinds of creativity; Oulipian works are a great example.
Strong constraints can add artistic value all their own; they are more than scaffolding.
Working with constraints lets you learn to express yourself in creative new ways.
It's important to start thinking about how you want things to fit together from the beginning.
A strong foundation makes it easier to put content into place and make your vision cohere.
Rules don't just underpin creative gestures, they emphasize them.
Setting a logical set of limits allows you to easily tweak organizing principles as needed.
Having robust rules lets you adapt design systems to support new circumstances.
A comprehensive system allows you to put new additions to work in context right away.
Edge cases are easier to address when you have rules you can combine or permutate.
Understanding the wider context of constraints in your medium lets you emphasize unique features.
Eyecatching work often juxtaposes familiar form factors with bold artistic statements.
Unique elements stand out to users and audiences by clashing against an expected backdrop.
Understanding expectations and rules is essential to challenging preconceptions of form.
Mastering traditional rules and technique enabled Picasso's later reimagining of perspective.
Rules can be applied to any media, and the benefits of using them apply in all cases.
Build rules so that you can bend and break them.