How to use

We believe the greatest learning comes from critical reflection that captures a range of different perspectives and narratives, but our research has shown how difficult it is for people to be honest about failures. 

The FailSpace postcards have been designed to encourage you to have conversations about failures with your participants, collaborators, funders, and other stakeholders. You could complete them on your own and share them with your collaborators, or you could use them to facilitate group discussion. While we have made some suggestions about how to use them, feel free to get creative and use them in your own way. You can order the postcards here, or download printable versions here.

It’s important to share our experiences of failure so we can learn from each other. So, once you have completed the postcards please upload an image of any or all of them here. If you plan to post your cards, make sure you take a picture before you add the address!

There is also one extra postcard with the heading ‘Thank you for taking part in our research on failure’. That is for you to send to us! Tell us about how you found this exercise or any other involvement you may have had with our research project. It’s already stamped with free postage, so you just need to pop it in your nearest postbox!


1) Think about all the different people you work with (e.g. participants, artists, arts organisations, funders) and the times when you have not felt able to be fully honest in the past.

2) Fill in as many of the postcards as you can, honestly sharing failures that you have never shared before.

3) If you wish to post your postcard to whomever you are writing to we’ve left a space for a stamp and address. In which case why not invite them to send something back to you?

4) If you don’t feel comfortable posting what you have written, use this as an opportunity to reflect on why that is and if there is another way you could start a constructive conversation about failures with those stakeholders.

1) if the group are of one type (e.g. participants or staff teams) select the postcards that are of greatest relevance to that group. Ask everyone in the group to write their own text for these postcards before sharing this with the group. Use this to start a discussion about how your group could make talking about these sorts of failures easier both amongst yourself and with your stakeholders. 

2) if the group is mixed (e.g. staff, participants, and funders) each participant can select one postcard to complete individually before sharing this with the rest of the group. Use this to start a discussion about the different sort of failures that people have experienced and why you might find it difficult to have these sorts of discussion normally. Discuss ways in which you could encourage more open dialogue to continue in the future.