sue2201's blog
Creative Economy




“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” – Mary Lou Cook

“Creativity is… seeing something that doesn’t exist already…”  Michele Shea


Creativity means numerous things to different people and can be defined in any number of ways. Creativity can also be defined at many distinct levels; cognitively, intellectually, socially, economically, spiritually, and from the finite perspective of different disciplines; business, science, music, art, dance, theatre, and so on.

Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create, to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.


“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”  Albert Camus

“Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist” Thomas Disch

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected” William Plomer (1903-1973)


To be creative is part of human psyche, it is one of those traits that set us apart from other animal species, and we have practised it for million years.

Having the ability or power to create, it is characterized by originality and expressiveness;

It is a thinking process that generates originality; it is imaginative and may however be eccentric. “For every opinion now accepted, was once eccentric.”


“Creative thinking involves imagining familiar things in a new light, digging below the surface to find previously undetected patterns, and finding connections among unrelated phenomena.” Roger von Oech

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“The creative person is more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person” Frank Barron

“…creativity requires passion and commitment. Out of the creative act is born symbols and myths…the experience are one of heightened consciousness-ecstasy.” Rollo May


If one could define creativity in a metaphoric way, what might one say and why?

I would say creativity is insane! We go out of our minds when we are creative and it requires passion and commitment.


“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction” Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”  Edward de Bono



ž”The design of our built environment is of great importance as it can completely affect how people feel about their quality of life. Good design can revitalise neighbourhoods and cities, reduce crime, illness and truancy, and help public service perform better”

(KU Creative Economy, 2007).



The Creative Economy is a rapidly growing sector of the world economy. More countries place the creative industries at the heart of their economic development (cited from MACE handbook). The MACE programme provided me with an opportunity to explore, experience, and overcome challenges as well as realise the values within the creative economy. A time well spent as well as skills developed to help me thrive in as well as manage the tensions, challenges and oppositions in future after MACE, the beginning of a creative future which is just around the corner, in other words, post MACE. With an area of specialism in Architecture (MACE) as well as a background in Architecture (BSc). I have had the opportunity to work with other students from various design background within the same creative industry. A team made up of six members with various specialisms in fashion design, interior and space design as well as film making. Also, nationalities from Nigeria, India, China and Korea. What a combination! An experience which developed the flexibility required to work with different skill sets, orientation and specialisations.

Although there have been ups and downs working as a team with other students from various backgrounds, it has been an amazing experience so far. It was interesting to observe and understand their different thought processes as well as an integration of all the different ideas in order to come up with a final innovative idea. It is said that creativity is celebrated as an individual phenomenon but it depends upon teamwork and the dynamic interaction of people with different skills and experience. Collaborating with these various designers as well as film maker to set up a business as well as run it for a period of time has given me an opportunity to develop my personal skills which include an ability to work as a part of a team. This report will discuss my experience in the MACE program, using the GROW MODEL I will first discuss my future goal after MACE, then how I intend to apply the skills learnt during this programme in the future to achieve my long term career goals.

The MACE programme has been a challenging experience so far, however, I have been able to thrive, explore, understand as well as learn and develop my skills within the tensions and contradictions thrown at my face. Though it was difficult, I was able to pass through the eye of the needle. A major problem encountered was the communication gap between the team of different designers. The ability to put the leadership capabilities learnt from Piers Ibbotson into practice was not as easy as I thought. Also, the fact that most of the team members were not native English speakers affected our communication and understanding of each others’ ideas. As a team and within this chaos, we were still able to overcome our differences in other to come up with a final product for the business. It has always been said that working as team to develop or produce a single product, in other word teamwork is a very difficult task; the Mace concept of learning by doing has given me an opportunity to experience these difficulties as well as develop my physical and mental skills. At the beginning, I did not really understand the relevance of the whole concept of the learning methods as there was so much misunderstanding and chaos especially within my team, but as time passed on I realised all learning opportunities thrown to me in bits. As a result, I began to take advantage of these opportunities.

Moreover, the features of the Creative Economy MA programme were well channelled in every aspect of my experience with the team. In the area of creativity, the different ideas from separate views was contributed and integrated to create a final product for the team’s business.  However, it was a bumpy process at the initial stage of the business.  Networking through the multi-disciplinary nature as well as flexibility of the MACE programme, encouraged me to reflect on my behaviours, skills and attributes in other to develop the right skills and balance to work within the team. Hence, working with people of different skills and specialisation as well as experience, and building a relationship across these different disciplines is a skill that will definitely be carried on to my longer term career goals.


“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

A question to ask now is what are my career goals? And how do I intend to apply these skills learnt in other to achieve these goals? Talking about my long term career goals, they can be traced back to my interest in art and craft as a child. It will be interesting to know that I was the only student in my high school days who took fine art as an elective subject during my finals. An interest which later developed into a passion for architecture as well as other areas of design such as product, furniture, fashion, interior and photography. Having done a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, I still had an interest in the business of architecture not just developing my design skills. I got to know about MACE which also included Architecture that is MA in Architecture and the Creative Economy, it seemed like a first step towards what I wanted, and then I applied without hesitation. Although I want to become a practicing Architect sometime in the future, I am still very much interested in getting involved in other areas of design as mentioned above; Furniture, Fashion, Interior as well as product and photography, not forgetting an interest in running my own business. As stated on my blog in January 19, 2010; I may end up going into real estate development regardless of my practising as an architect and getting involved in other areas of design. For sure, it is a big dream, but a journey of a thousand mile begins with a step, a step which I have taken towards achieving my goals in life. Welcome to a “Macer’s” world, developing an ability of the “opposable mind”, thanks to Roger Martins for his amazing book.


As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be.     – Saul Alinsky

Now, let us come to reality. How achievable are these goals? How long will it take me to achieve them? And How far am I from these goals? What have I learnt from my experience in MACE? What difference is it going to make after MACE? Heeww! Here comes reality at my door step. It is not impossible to achieve these goals, though it is going to cost me hard work and continual self development as well as time. The question now is what progress has been made via MACE? Yes! I have been able to develop certain areas of my skills through the MACE program. The process of experiencing, starting up and running a business with a team has given me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills, communication skills, an ability to have an open mind to opposing ideas, analyse and understand such opposing views which will be applied in every step of my journey after MACE. However, after MACE I still intend to get further experience in my field; Architecture, which will take another two or three years. An opportunity to apply all skills learnt during the MACE programme in a real office scenario. The idea of setting up and running a business, consortium or consultancy will perhaps take a much longer time to commence. However, the journey started with the MACE programme, an experience which involves the flexibility of working with different skill set and specialisation, a skill that will be applied in dealing with other areas of design interest as mentioned above sometime in future. A future ambition I am looking forward to achieving.


“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”                 – Hannah More

During the initial set up stage of my team’s business; Design Balance, it was all bumpy and disorganised. Probably would have mentioned this earlier, Design Balance is a company that is into production of handmade scarves used as souvenirs, gift items as well as a fashion accessories; can you beat that? It took a while to really put things together to come up with productive ideas. Most of the problems we had were mainly based on communication as well as an ability to work as a team even though we had a common goal. It was really difficult to understand and accept each other’s ideas. As designers, being passionate and holding on to personal ideas was also a problem, an emotional one; we went around in circles without conclusion on a way to move forward towards our business goal. As a result, it delayed the progress of the business. We had the option of merging with another team which we went ahead and did (oops again, Design Balance was formerly a team of three members before the merge). The merging brought life to the business and progress took off immediately. There were more ideas to compliment as well as develop existing ideas. This step taken was an improvement to the business. But what has this got to do with my long term career goals? The obstacles I may face in my future business may be at the initial stage of the business. A phase which involves putting all necessary strings together to build up the business. There is a saying that “if the foundation be destroyed what will the righteous do?” Thus, it is very important that a proper survey on user need is done to start with which involves the process of developing the product or service desirability, viability, and technology. Obstacles that have to do with working with a team of designers wanting to hold on to their ideas may be encountered. Merging may not be an option at the time to solve such problems. So what else can be done? An option of integrating the skill of the opposable mind may facilitate the progress of the project in the future. Thanks to Roger for making me aware of the possibility of integrating contrasting ideas.


“Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey

Having gone through the MACE programme and experiencing the process of setting up and running a business with a gang of Asians (lol) who were my teammates, what do I do next? In as much as I have gone through the educational process of learning, it is also important to learn by gaining experience in a related field, perhaps the business of architecture. With an eye on firms specialised in residential houses, I intend to take a first scary step by applying for internships to these architectural firms or residential developing firms. Starting up on this platform should be able to give me opportunities of getting employed in future when applications are made within the Creative Industries in the UK. I intent to gain 2-3 years more work experience as well as doing a course in interior and furniture design before I set up a business of my own. Perhaps, when I get back to my country, Nigeria. It looks like a very long time.

As mentioned earlier, my passion is design based. Due to my multiple interest in various design field; architecture, interior, furniture, product, fashion design and photography, I intend to set up a spider web venture that connects these areas of my interest regardless of my field, most of them if not all. Although, I intent to start with one aspect, then spread with time to the others. Also not forgetting to do a proper market research or survey as learnt during my time in MACE. What a big big plan.


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

This is what MACE is all about? So far, MACE has been a step taken towards a future plan, a plan triggered by passion, a passion enhanced by creativity, a creativity encouraged through MACE.

An experience of blessing that came as a curse. Working as a team in Design Balance has been a curse as well as a blessing. A curse in the sense that working as a team was really horrible trying to understand ideas from my team mates as they are not native English speakers. A blessing in the sense that I was able to identify my weaknesses, learnt to adjust, create a way of communication with my team in order for them to understand my ideas especially through drawings and sketches. In the end, working as a team is about having a common goal or vision as well as understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and channel it towards the success of the proposed business. Why do I keep writing about team work? Almost every business venture is run by a team irrespective of the size; big or small scale. And a successful balance within the team has a major influence on the outcome of the business.

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.” — Ken Blanchard

My experience through the MACE programme, knowledge and skills acquired, coupled with experience I plan to gain in the future should be able to equip me with the necessary weapon I need to set up my spider web venture in the near future. It may be a very big plan but it is achievable. Thank God!


Atkinson, J. (2008), The Latter Rain; Saul Alinsky, Available at: (Access date 13th May 2010).

 Creative Economy MA (2010), Introduction to the Creative Economy MA courses, [Online]. Available at: (Access date 13th May 2010).

Life’s Building Blocks, Inc. (2007), Making Character Development Fun, [Online]. Available at: (Access date 13th May 2010).

 Martin, R. (2007), the Opposable Mind; How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking, Boston, Harvard Business School Press.

Wikipedia (2010) Grow Model, [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 13th May 2010).

 Wisdom Quotes (2010), [Online]. Available at: (Access date 13th May 2010)


Philip Starck, an all round designer, a thinker as well as an inpiration.

He has been involved in various projects; product, furniture, fashion, interior design, worked with Architects as well.

Why Design? A talk given at TED. Cant stop watching, am a number one fan. He made me realise the possibility of being involved in every aspect of design irrespective of your area of specialism while MACE crowned it up with “learning by doing”. Working with other creatives within the Creative Industry. ENJOY!!!


What makes a team?

Every successful business is a result of a great teamwork. It has always been said that working as a team is the most difficult thing to do. What really makes a team work?

Clipart Illustration of Black Silhouetted Business Men And Women Standing On A Reflective Surface, Surrounded By Puzzle Pieces, Symbolizing Problem Solving, Teamwork And Solutions

I once had an experience at my former place of work, we were given a task as a team to design a secondary school with all facilities possible, an invitation for a design and build project. It was a great project, an opportunity for trainees but what went wrong? Instead of working as a team, there was so much  fighting and misunderstanding which resulted to an incoherent design. As a result, we lost the job.

Now it is happening again. Is there somthing that is missing? What is there to learn from this? The whole scenario from the past and present happen to inspire a new dissertation topic which I may work on; Managing Creativity and Innovation in Teams in the Creative Industries, a focus on architectural firms. What a long title.So what really makes a team work? “


We have discussed and learnt about leadership. In every aspect of our lives the term leadership exist or is exhibited. At home, work, class and so on. We talked about the different types, traits, and so on, an issue we never talked about is dealing with difficult leaders. Difficult leaders do exist. How can we deal with them at work places or class? They are actually out there making life miserable for others due to whatever they lack in themselves. How can these people/leaders be classified, good, bad or ugly? What are their qualities?

An experience dealing with difficult leaders both at work and school, how else can you describe hell. What a frustrating experience, it all felt like a nuclear war going on in my little head, no were to transfer the anger. Thank God am still sane, thought I was going crazy. Calm down Susan! Its an experience, learn from it. Had to think of a proper way on my own to deal with such frustrating leaders. Difficult but got my result, Heeww! What an experience!


All work and no play makes me a very dull girl, so what’s next?

photo by susan!

Back from a trip to palma de mallorca. A trip meant for relaxation and releasing myself of stress from studies. Yes I had fun, a time well spent. I never forgot to take a book along “opposable mind” by Roger Martin, now I’m back to reality.

Back in class. With catherin, it was about dissertation and research methods. Too bad I had cold so I couldnt stay till the end of the class. According to my team mates Corrine’s class was more about business presentation, assignments and further on, Design Thinking.

As for my teams business, more meetings are to be held and so much more…


A belated blog post again?

After much preparation for the trade fare, now its finally over. It was not so much fun dealing with the team but it was all good. There was a lot of cutting, stitching, sewing and other busy fashion stuff that went on in the fashion studios at Knights Park Campus, thanks to the fashion students as well as members of the team, a job well done. Helped with making a wall poster made from fabric pieces, thumbs up for me! With a background in Architecture, it was really a nice experience working with fashion Students, Kool!

Being the camera and video woman of the day for my team, I decided to make a short video of the event. Not an expert it video making or editng but enjoy!




 and role play.

Leadership workshop with Piers Ibbotson, involved learning with cards, sticks and role plays, what an interesting way to learn. The exercise involved altering our body language to represent the cards you are given from king which is the highest to ace the lowest. Another exercise involved placing both ends of a stick on two person’s head and then move around the class without leting the stick fall off.

During the discussion, I was captured by pier’s principles of …

 “nothing comes from nothing,”

“metamohosis is unstopable,”

“Creativity in a boundary phenomenon”

Having done all the role plays and dicussion, I realised that leadership entails alot. It involves the ability to work on single aspects of a package as well as the whole package. If you know what I mean!…to be continued.


What an interesting class and tutor! we were engaged in serious brain storming and deep thinking which I found most interesting.

It is amazing to think of leadership in different ways. What the concept of leadership really is, its relationship with management and application to organisations. Got to know the different styles of leadership as well as examples, and its suprising to know that some people I never thought of are termed as leaders. Also, a leader can be termed good, bad or ugly( so much for knowledge).

Is leadership discovered or created? An open question thrown to the class to think about and share their views. This session involved an in depth thinking, the whole class was put to brain boxing and wrestling, a fight that never ended with a winner. The class ended with chaos and unresolved argument. However, I would say leadership is discovered and can be created. Its complicated!