Research Meeting – Tuesday 22nd September 2015

Last Tuesday, the research team along with Jo and David met to discuss the research angle of the 33,000 Everyday Artists initiative. As the project is an ‘experiment’ and we want it to be as open as possible to allow for play, risk and vulnerability, it was quite tricky narrowing down the focus of the research, specifically regarding the research question.

There are so many areas we could focus on:

  • An evaluation of the experiment – what is being done, when, with what success?
  • The approach of the experiment – how might our research inform what is being done, when?
  • ‘Everyday culture of creativity’ – it is possible? What methods and approaches can be used?
  • The 64 Million Artists methodology (Do, Think, Share) – what about ‘making time’, a key constraint in a university setting?
  • Creativity recognition and bias
  • Creativity in organisations
  • Creativity and education (the university)
  • Everyday artists

We realised that the research question really needed ‘everyday culture of creativity’ in it and that the fact the experiment is taking place in a university (rather than another type of organisation) was important.

Another challenge we came across is how to balance the ‘top-down’ versus ‘bottom-up’ nature of the experiment. Do we need approval from Deans and senior figures in the university or do we focus at a more grassroots level?

Another potential challenge will be getting people, specifically staff, to ‘buy in’ to the experiment when they are already feeling stretched, over-worked and have no free time. We’ll need to dispel people’s suspicions of 33,000 Everyday Artists being an idealistic or over-romanticised fantasy and come up with a convincing way to get participants involved.

To record and capture the meeting in some way, we each had a minute to draw/write/whatever on a post-it note. This is what we came up with:


It is unclear in the photo, but David wrote a manifesto:

  • Resist the urge to be sensible
  • Assume permission has been given
  • Deny ‘the beast’
  • Creativity is a process (a muscle) not a product
  • Whatever happens is great

I think this wonderfully captures the 33,000 Everyday Artist ethos and I hope we can get students and staff alike to think more along these lines as a result of the experiment.

We plan to use other creative methods to record meetings and events as they generate useful and interesting responses that would not otherwise have been captured, which will be useful for the data collection side of the research.

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