Episode 29
Scott Mitchell
Experimentation in the Arena.
Scott Mitchell jumps in time to dissect his own experimentation life philosophy, his efforts to remove creative friction, and his worldview. An experimental episode on Scott's metaphor of the arena, experiments he's carried out over the past years, and his current solo adventure.
March 31, 2020
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1 hr 50 min
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Episode Notes

Scott Mitchell jumps in time to dissect his own experimentation life philosophy, his efforts to remove creative friction, and his worldview. An experimental episode on Scott's metaphor of the arena, experiments he's carried out over the past years, and his current solo adventure.

Scott Mitchell is a designer and software engineer currently working out of Boston, Massachusetts. Scott is the founder of stud.io (stud-io.org), a construction technology company focused on automating fabrication processes for geometrically complex projects. He previously worked as a software engineer at Autodesk as part of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Generative Design group. Scott received masters degrees in both Architecture and Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and he received his BA in Film and Media Studies from The University of Oklahoma.


Favorite quotes

  • "This works for me, and it might not work for other people."
  • "At first you're a player in the arena, and when you get good at that you can step out of the arena and rework the rules of the game, and then step back in."
  • "Can we have slates wiped clean anymore or, because we're out of school, we have a job that just goes own every week, can we create those moments for ourselves where we are able to be entirely free?"
  • "These are two points looking at Scott's life philosophy and its evolution."

Links


Books


People mentioned


Episode notes

  • Intro. [1:17]
  • Two learning steps. [8:49]
  • Main learning challenges to get comfortable with making. [10:23]
  • "This works for me, and it might not work for other people." [10:43]
  • Misusing tools. [15:34]
  • The arena and the ruleset. [16:25]
  • Changing the rules of the arena. [17:38]
  • The beginner's mind - The mindset that—as opposed to holding you back from creating—gives you freedom. [20:01]
  • Documenting your work. [21:38]
  • Experimentation. [23:04]
  • The curls experiment. [24:14]
  • Experiments at studio. [26:05]
  • Hobbies. [28:08]
  • The noodle experiment: Experiment No. 3. [29:52]
  • Experimentation vs. practice. [31:33]
  • Experiments at work and what died at architecture school. [32:56]
  • "Do you ever enjoy being bored?" [34:00]
  • Getting the slate wiped clean. [36:47]
  • Oranges in the shower: Experiment No. 2. [37:33]
  • The ritual of done - The necessity of celebration: getting a sense of fulfillment and freedom. [40:39]
  • Define yourself. [42:29]
  • Flow. [43:15]
  • Work in progress. [44:58]
  • Becoming a slave of systems. [45:59]
  • Benefits of documentation. [46:37]
  • Boredom. [47:15]
  • The podium and friction. [48:01]
  • Shortcuts. [48:56]
  • Laziness and automation. [52:00]
  • Procrastiworking - "The distraction was the thing I was going to get done." [55:48]
  • A disconnection policy. [57:55]
  • Social media. [1:03:16]
  • Books and online resources. [1:03:49]
  • Success. [1:04:52]
  • A role model. [1:05:01]
  • A message to the world. [1:05:43]
  • Wearing 90% black. [1:06:05]
  • The list of things I want. [1:07:20]
  • Book recommendations. [1:08:11]
  • A purchase of a $100 or less. [1:08:15]
  • Connect with Scott. [1:09:31]
  • Simple and intuitive. [1:10:19]
  • The arena. [1:11:50]
  • Clutter. [1:12:46]
  • Email. [1:14:07]
  • Meditation. [1:14:38]
  • Money. [1:15:02]
  • Thanks. [1:15:23]
  • Back to the future. [1:16:56]
  • What's changed? [1:18:51]
  • Outsourcing - Removing creative friction. [1:21:23]
  • Going solo. [1:22:48]
  • Howick Maker. [1:24:12]
  • Finding other people. [1:25:11]
  • Working by yourself - Having your own schedule, things you're going to miss from a full-time job. [1:26:07]
  • What's more likely to fail? [1:27:06]
  • New experiments. [1:28:51]
  • Atomic habits. [1:32:18]
  • Habit tracker template. [1:37:18]
  • Discipline. [1:40:53]
  • Flow vs. Deliberate Practice. [1:41:26]
  • Scheduling your leisure time. [1:42:25]
  • The "Things that.." list. [1:45:10]
  • Outro. [1:49:06]

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Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs under CC BY 4.0.