Composure: Collaboration

By Kyle Studstill.

If we are to do our best work in the face of constant chaos and change, perhaps we must first hone our inner virtues as guidance. Composure produces an ongoing series of reflections, guided by creative works that foster specific kinds of perspective.

This week: companionship.

The mythical lone genius, that egotistical artist, says: “Here is my work. I have finished it, it is perfect.” I’ve come to find that our best work is done when we adopt the attitude that we’re creating with others, not just for them. The below on how I got there, fodder for you to reflect on as well.

Start first with some history from Clive Thompson: “There was this about a Model T; the purchaser never regarded his purchase as a complete, finished product. When you bought a Ford, you figured you had a start…A Ford was born naked as a baby, and a flourishing industry grew up out of correcting its rare deficiencies and combating its fascinating diseases.”

image via Fela

image via Fela

Consider next, experiences of the future as described by Brian Eno: “the right word for ‘interactive’ is…’unfinished’.” I’ve since never looked at anything that claims to be interactive the same.


Perhaps we can find answers for both the above in the “IKEA effect,” a term coined 2011 in a Harvard Business School paper subtitled “When Labor Leads to Love.” In which a trio of scholars demonstrate how completing things oneself imbues the final work with profound significance.

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Kyle Studstill
Instagram: @alwayscomposure

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