Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

The Point of Making Pointless Things

If you've ever been to one of my talks you may have heard me say "put work into the world which deserves to exist." Whilst I'm very much into that idea — especially when it comes to commercial work — it can be completely overbearing when you're just trying to get something started.

That fear of expectation can be completely paralysing. That's why I think it's important to do the exact opposite and make pointless, stupid, things.

Several times a week, when commercial projects allow, I'll make pointless things. This blog itself is largely the output of those pointless things. It might be learning how to create meshes from typography. It might be learning how to map lines around a sphere. It might be a million other disparate things. They're all pointless and stupid. However, in the process of making this stupid stuff I'm learning something without the pressure of a deadline, the views of others or the expectancy of a client. It's doodling, sketching, playing, just for the sake and enjoyment of doing it.

Yet there's another benefit. These little experiments I make and then store away in my digital cupboard — or if you prefer, hard drive — are then waiting to be called on and often combined with other such useless things on actual work. Pretty much any piece of work I've ever been paid to make has featured several of these at one time seemingly pointless distractions. And that is the point.