2021_2 | Strategy Studios

S6. Playing with matches

Lauren Murray & Suzie Zezula & Giota Beattie-Vass


Studio Inquiry

Fire is the thing: you fire up when you are excited or inspired, you play with fire; it's exciting and dangerous. When you light a fire, it is warm, comforting, incendiary, mesmerising and seductive. Fire is inspirational, we use the 'idea' of fire in many ways:

we say if you are a liar your 'pants are on fire',
if you are in love (or lust) you are 'Burning Up',
if you are angry, you might just indulge in 'Burning Down the House',
or you might 'Fire Up',
And if you are seeking change, you might kindle the flames of revolution
Creativity is a fire; the idea is the flame everything else is the match that lights it.

This studio is focussed on kindling the flames of creativity, by using the matches of technique, media, technology, and strategy to light the fire of innovation and the flame of ideas. As the wonderful designer Alan Fletcher said, 'some who analyse design are concerned with the mechanics rather than the thoughts, with the match rather than the fire.'
In this studio you will light a conceptual fire, by creating a brief in response to a particular communication need. You will be asked to explore:

individual freedom in creative conceptual practice
creative dilemmas as they arise and arrive at a solution
specialisation and collaboration,
visionary and pragmatic practice
the mysterious ways of the mind
the fire lighting effects of inventiveness and the impact of 'thinking up a good idea'.
Communication of knowledge
During this fiery studio you will explore the value of disruptive thinking,
the opportunities presented through collaboration
the relationship between strategy and the visual solution
the value of humour and risk
the role of the audience


The joy of having fun,
being successful
and lighting a firestorm of brilliant ideas.
You will (metaphorically speaking) walk on hot coals, indulge in some fire eating, sooth your throat with toasted marshmallows and indulge your creative pyromaniacal tendencies by demonstrating your ability to create a brief that answers the requirement of the client and demonstrates your ability to research, refine, invent (the matches) and light fires (the ideas). Finally, you will be asked to bring that brief to implementation.
This studio has 3 interwoven assessment tasks that inform one another:

Brief 1. 30% Pyromaniacs Knowledge Object (P.K.O./ S.K.O.) > revealing your knowledge + process
Brief 2. 25% Ring of Fire > igniting typography
Brief 3. 45% Pants on Fire > putting yourself out there
The Art of Looking Sideways. Alan Fletcher
Pentagram: Five Decades of Star-studded Design
Stop Stealing Sheep and Find Out how Type Works. Eric Spiekermann. Adobe Press 2013
Futura: the font that escaped the Nazis and landed on the moon. vox.com
Studio Partner
This studio is about partnerships. There will be partnerships between students working with students. There will be partnerships where students work for students and just to light your fires there will be student clients who match student curators.
Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing Identity, Designing through Image, Designing Publications, Designing Disobedience
IMPORTANT: The 'Playing with matches' is a double-studio, made up of a face-to-face group AND an online group. Both classes will run concurrently face to face and online.

If you are studying remotely (i.e. from outside of Australia) then please enrol in the ONLINE version of this studio, which appears as #10 on myTimetable

If you are studying locally (i.e. in Melbourne) then please enrol in the FACE-TO-FACE version of this studio, which appears as #21 on myTimetable(it has a room location).

Students in the online studio will be included in ALL discussions of this 'double-studio' community.

Students working online will receive individual consultations, like students who are physically in the studio. Sound complicated? Don't worry we know how to do this and we love teaching this way.

About Lauren Murray & Suzie Zezula | About Giota Beattie-Vass

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