As design director of Augusto, Emma Rogan has to be creative every working day. She's constantly looking for inspiration and came across Yale School of Art professor Michael Bierut's 100 Day Project which, as the name suggests, asks students to repeat an action for 100 days and record it.
His students' work included a daily smile constructed by Juan Astosio and Tara Kelton's one hundred different ways to destroy a plastic man. In an industry known for its perfectionists, the project pushed designers to complete ideas within a tight timeframe and keep creating even when inspiration runs dry.
Emma started her own 100 Days Project in 2011 through a quickie website she set up over one weekend, asking 50 of her peers to join her. A year later, more than 200 people got involved. This year, 100 Days Project has its own website, is sponsored by Design Assembly and Westpac, and has a community of more than 2000 Kiwis.
Emma Rogan speaks at TEDx Auckland in 2012.
Perusing through the community entries, it's easy to be inspired. Nanogirl is running science experiments every day,Giselle is illustrating pieces from the junk drawer, and Jacqueline is creating 100 days of shadow art.
Lee Taniwha is writing his bucketlist:
Renee Badenoch is illustrating a bird each day:
Indy is curating a visual diary of New Zealand Design:
And Simon Waterfield is drawing whatever catches his eye that day:
This is the first year that Emma is not creating through the project, instead acting as support for the community. "I see the website as a platform for those wanting to be involved, who may not know how to set up their own website. This year we have people from five-years-old to 70-years-old taking part," she says. "This makes me so happy."
With such a large and diverse community, Emma needed more resource and approached her bank manager at Westpac to talk about support. She was put in touch with the bank's sponsorship team, which came on board last year to sponsor an exhibition that showed in Auckland at the end of the 100 days.
Nearly 50 Westpac employees from across New Zealand, including Chief Digital Officer Simon Pomeroy and Director of Corporate Affairs Sue Foley, are involved this year. The company has set up its own internal online social group where team members share their projects, post progress updates and encourage each other along.
Candice Collier, Customer Experience Transformation Manager of Westpac, says: "We love that this project allows individuals to express themselves creatively and focus on something that personally benefits them. We're very much about building resilience in our people and one of our organisational values is courage – creating an environment where our people can think differently and try new ways of doing things.
"We wanted to encourage our people to get involved in something that can help them feel that they are making a difference in their own lives – no rules, no boundaries, just the freedom to express."
Emma admits there are bad days and good days, and it can sometimes be a struggle to find time to be creative. So at the end of the 100 days, anyone who's made it past day 20 will be invited to exhibit, which will once again be sponsored by Westpac.