makeLab™ blog

Setting the Record straight on “make good things” by Jim Stevens
January 27, 2011, 1:20 pm
Filed under: makeLab design

During my graduate study at NC State, I was visited in the studio by Professor Roger Clark. I was tired, I was frustrated, and as he left he simply said “make good things.” Now, a single moment in my memory, I do not recall him ever saying it again. Apparently, according to my colleague, Rebecca Necessary, he said “make good things” all the time.
Fast-forward and I find myself teaching my first studio at Lawrence Technological University. Late one night I received an email from a tired, frustrated student. I wrote what I felt was a thoughtful response, but in the end, I could only do so much to help this student. So, without thinking, my salutation was “make good things,” not my typical “Best.” It seemed to fit. Then, to my surprise, I started seeing the quote show up on scrawled trace paper notes on the wall of my studio.

It seems like a simple statement, but I personally think about it a lot. Recently, Pandush Gaqi, the current makeLab fellow, asked me (in jest) “shouldn’t it be make great things?” My answer: “no, because by substituting ‘great’ with ‘good’ there is an assertion that you have reached a level of design that affords rest. So, therefore striving for good implies continuous “practice” and that what we are making is only one in a long series of projects. So, if we keep making good things we may one day be fortunate and achieve something great.”

-Thanks Roger


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment


I love this statement! And what a great explanation — in design or in other creative efforts, we should always strive for continuous improvement. In class, we talk about every business having a mantra — a short, simple statement that can sums up the reason for the business. I can think of nothing better than yours for the good things MakeLab is doing.

Karen Evans

Comment by Karen

Thanks Karen, you guys are welcome anytime.

Comment by Jim Stevens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: