Perform a "design operation" that you are capable of repeating every day for 100 days
This methodology was applied to many disciplines outside of design.
Michael Beirut Summary
People have asked me many times to say what, exactly, is the point of this project. I've always had a fascination with the ways that creative people balance inspiration and discipline in their working lives. It's easy to be energized when you're in the grip of a big idea. But what do you do when you don't have anything to work with? Just stay in bed? Writers have this figured out: it's amazing how many of them have a rigid routine. John Cheever, for instance, used to wake up every morning in his New York City apartment, put on a jacket and tie, kiss his wife goodbye, and take the elevator down to his apartment building's basement, when he would sit at a small desk and write until quitting time, at which point he'd go back up. (When it was hot in the basement, he'd strip down to his underwear to work.)
The only way to experience this kind of discipline is to subject yourself to it. Every student who has taken this project had a moment where the work turned into a mind-numbing grind. And trust me: it won't be the first time this happens. The trick is to press on. For each new day (whether it's Day 28, Day 61, even Day 100) brings with it the hope of inspiration.
Ely Kim's Boombox – 100 Dances/Locations/Songs
Jessica Hische's – Daily Drop Cap – designed one letter a day (twelve alphabets in total)
Sample rules from 100dayProject.org
- Make sure you can do it in 5-10 minutes a day. More time is nice if you have it, but if it's really time consuming you probably won't do it every day.
- Make sure the tools you need to do your project are accessible and portable. Will it fit in your purse or backpack? Can you travel with it? They should also be financially accessible – there's no reason you have to buy an expensive new tool (unless you really want to and it’s in your budget).
- Pick something generative. For example, one year Lindsay pulled a tarot card every day. When Michael Bierut started the project, he drew an image based on a photo in the New York Times. It helps to not have to decide what you're going to do every day. What's something that can do the deciding for you?
- Whatever project you choose, think about how you can make it easier. And more fun!