We Learn by Making

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These days, the Heurista team is seldom covered in paint and hand-building our designs ourselves – well, it still happens sometimes. It’s in our blood, it’s who we are. We know what can be built because we know how to build. Our designs are informed by our knowledge of how materials feel when you shape them. Our shared history as makers allows us to dream bigger while staying within the realm of what’s practical, affordable, and safe. Now that we lead teams – inside and outside of Heurista – we hold those who make our designs with or for us to that same high standard.

Art Bells, a project from Ed’s portfolio, was a delight to create because it brought together a team of artists. The challenge with Art Bells was to create a large series of artistic sculptural pieces that would have a significant experiential impact in a commercial/public space and support holiday themes during the all-important the fourth quarter sales cycle. A one-of-a-kind solution was required for each element. Ed worked with an extended team of sculptors and painters to achieve uniqueness and the obvious “artist’s touch” on each piece. For a couple of months, production was intense. Ideas were exchanged and techniques explored. Processes were invented. The team succeeded and failed. There was genuine collaboration: one artist’s vibe affected all the other artists’ direction. Each new design decision raised the bar for subsequent elements.

Ultimately a dramatic collection of artist-driven custom art pieces were created. Variety was obvious as was the visual talent that went into each element. The challenge to offer the public something special, thoughtful, and unique was achieved because tangible objects were dreamed up, designed and made real for others to experience and we learned in the process.

Written By Anne Manner-McLarty

Anne Manner-McLarty is the managing editor of the Journal of Donor Relations and Stewardship. She founded Heurista in 2011, a leading resource for consulting specific to donor relations and stewardship, with particular expertise in the donor recognition program design and implementation.