Matt Gould

Good advice: When working with schools, try to rely on resources held on a server, so that you don’t have to rely on the potentially rubbish machines of the school/institution.

Partnership agreements are very important to get done at as early a stage as possible, as it is then clear to all the parties what their respective responsibilities are.

LandDesign Studio specialise in creating architectural solutions and installations for, among others, museums, and tend to subcontract aspects of the work to artists. This is largely how you as an artist end up working with big projects.

Project management:

Waterfall processes (linear – used most of the time):

Specification –> Design –> Code –> Test –> Final product


  • Rigid structure
  • One problem with this is the “permanent beta” phenomenon – is anything online ever completely finished? Are you getting paid for continued development?
  • Client often only start understanding what they actually want once they have seen the work – and then the budget is largely spent.
  • Not very good at dealing with change and unknowns
  • Early assumptions are often inaccurate
  • Assumes that people’s capacity is constant
  • Strengths

  • Feels safe
  • Sense of clarity of scope and expectations
  • Rigid structures are easier to negotiate initially
  • Agile project approach

    “The problem isn’t change, it is how we deal with it”

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiations
  • Responding to change over following a plan
  • Iterative project approach
    Look at the list of things to do, prioritise –> Choose some you think you can finish in a fixed time–> One at a time, work through the chosen things until time is up–> Those things that you didn’t get done go back on the list of things to do along with any new things to do that you noticed during the iteration–> back to look at the list of things to do, etc.

    The iterative, agile approach is in a way the opposite of linear, waterfall processes.

    You are dealing with people on salaries who need to continually justify why they are getting paid. They can hoover up your time if you let it happen. Your time as an artist is money.

    (There is more progressive thinking in this area, but not so much in the UK. In Japan, there is more awareness of the responsibility of those higher up in the food chain to ensure everyone has the resources to do their job.)

    Start with minimum iteration – start small scale and work out what is needed. As the project grows, you add and subtract requirements. Reinforce, both in yourself and the client that they are buying your time.


  • Clients may find it difficult to embrace the risk and uncertainty
  • Can be tricky to contract
  • Requires frequent and open communication with client
  • Strengths

  • Allows clients to change their minds
  • Allows client to get what the actually need (not what they think they need)
  • Delivers innovative outcomes
  • Allows supplier to make a profit
  • Allows people to work normal hours
  • You have to work out who are the chickens and who are the pigs. According to the English breakfast model the chickens are involved, but the pigs are committed. Chickens are opinionated, but their opinions don’t matter. Pigs are allowed to make decisions.


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