SXSW Interactive 2014

Produce Like Picasso: Mastering Design Delivery

Pablo Picasso was a prolific artist. He produced over 50,000 pieces of art, which equates to delivering two finished pieces of art each day of his 75 year career. Picasso also delivered in different mediums: paintings, sculptures, ceramics, architecture, and more. What was Picasso’s mindset? What methods did he use? How did Picasso move from concept to production so quickly?
In this talk, you will learn how to produce Picasso and avoid the pitfalls of production. We will review Picasso's production principles with examples from his life. By applying the principles of Picasso, designers can create more effectively and quickly.
NOTE: This is a follow-up to my 2013 SxSW presentation “Design Like DaVinci” where I focused on how designers could learn sketching secrets for early concepts, mock-ups, and wireframes. Where that presentation discussed “how to saturate a design space” with sketches, this presentation looks at “how to produce results from initial ideas.”

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  1. What are five production problems faced by designers? In this section of the talk, J. Schuh will talk about production pitfalls that plague all designers--inspiration, politics, time, money, and resources. In this section, we will define the variables and explain how each one directly (and indirectly) impacts a designer's productivity.
  2. What are some examples of these production pitfalls? During this section, Brian Sullivan will show relevant examples from a variety of industries. We will show good and bad examples of production issues. One great production example comes from ship builders produced World War II naval ships within one hour by the end of the war. The Sony Walkman and The Super Collider are two familiar examples of how politics impacted the production cycle.
  3. How did Picasso avoid these production pitfalls throughout his career? In this section, we will take a deep dive into the career of Pablo Picasso. J. Schuh will explain three ways that Picasso drew inspiration. We also explain how Picasso avoided the politics of World War II and popular artistic movements. Picasso's routine, focus, and shortcuts will explain how he was able to find time to produce so much work. Picasso's relationships helped him to secure resources, too.
  4. How to avoid perfectionism and procrastination? Leonardo da Vinci struggled with procrastination and perfectionism, as he only produced 30 known pieces of art. Picasso produced 50,000 pieces of art. In this section, Brian Sullivan will talk about the quality of work produced by Picasso. Picasso applied a high standard, not a "perfect" standard. In this section, we will do a comparison of Da Vinci and Picasso to see how differently they viewed quality.
  5. How do designers apply these principles of Picasso in experience design? Designers have specific artifacts throughout the software development process. By applying the principles of Picasso at a specific point in development or to an artifact, you can produce like Picasso. Your designs will be produced faster with a higher quality. Plus, you will have some relevant ways to become inspired, how to handle political situations, and how to get the money, time, and resources you need.



Brian Sullivan, Usability Principal, Sabre

Meta Information:

  • Tags: production
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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