Monday, 18 March 2013

Working in a Collaberation

Collaboration is working with each other to do a task. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.

When I embarked on the collaboration for the "Synchronise" exhibition I needed to ask myself what I could put into the mixing pot and what I hoped to get out of it.

The decision to work with two people as opposed to one was the easiest decision.  I had already worked on a collaboration with one person, so I understood the process, so working with an additional person would just change the dynamics slightlyOf course each collaboration is going to be different but I do feel the same route to a successful collaboration will apply.

Sharyn Dunn, Me and Samantha Robinson hold a Skype call

1.  Sharing your ideas, your outlook and the way you work as designer-makers. By sharing ideas, you all become part of the design process and initial ideas will blossom into realized dreams.

2.  Respect: Learn to give and receive respect from those you choose to work with.  Understand and try to accept each others strengths and weaknesses and use this to your advantage.  Doing this will enable you to have an effective team working towards a common goal and a strong and success outcome.
3Communication:   It goes without saying that you will need to form effective communication with your collaborators.  Listening carefully, and voicing your views will ensure you gradually move forward to a conclusion.  I found with my current collaboration we didn't always speak up and in consequence precious time was wasted, but this is something I have learnt and be aware of next time I collaberate. I guess what I'm trying to say is we don't like conflict.  Unfortunately, sometimes we need to bite the bullet and air our views in order to move forward effectively and smoothly.  Our meetings were held at our studios but sometimes due to weather constraints we did video calls.  We all found this a bit difficult.  Being creatives, we tend to be tactile, so viewing work on the screen was quite frustrating.

 4. The Journey: Enjoy the journey.  Experience the ups and downs, twists and turns and relish the conclusion.  During your time working together you will learn so much which you will be able to move into your own creative practice without realizing it has happened.  One of the things I came away with was I need to leave myself more room to enjoy initial ideas before I move on to the design process.  Give myself time to play and explore a little longer.  I have also discovered how much I enjoyed working larger scale; the challenge, the complexities and the final visual piece.  Something I envisage doing in a solo capacity in the future.   

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