Any pedagogy of media practice sits at the intersection between training for employment and education for critical thinking. As such, the use of projects is a primary means of structuring learning experiences as a means of mirroring professional practice. Yet, our understanding of the nature of projects and of project-based learning is arguably under-theorised and largely taken for granted. This paper attempts to address this issue through a synthesis of the literature from organisational studies and experiential learning. The article aims to shift the debate around project-based learning away from an instrumentalist agenda, to one that considers the social context and lived experience of projects and re-conceptualises projects as ontological modalities of doing, being and becoming. In this way, the article aims to provide a means for thinking about the use of project-based learning within the media practice curriculum that draws on metaphors of discovery, rather than of construction.