Industrialdesign

About Creativity

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Industrialdesign

Creativity in Productdesign

Industrial or product design is known as a discipline between art and technology. But there are many other components, such as ergonomics, psychology, economics and so on. In the following article, I would like to collect a few thoughts on creativity.

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What is creativity?

definition

I drew and painted a lot in my youth. Much more often than today. I only do some sketches as part of my work. I somehow lack inspiration today. Yes, I would even go as far as to call myself uncreative when it comes to my artistic side. But I work in a creative profession, since I am an industrial designer. How does that fit together? This leads me to a basic question, according to the definition:

What is creativity?

Origin

First of all, one could say that everything in which people create something, requires creativity. You can look far into the past. The invention of the wheel, the taming of fire and then the invention of more complex devices and aids, from hand axe to hatchets, bows and arrows to steam engines many years later. The inventors have to think about problems and can make their lives easier when they find a creatie solution. But cave painting and writing are also early products of creativity, serving a different purpose

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Creative Work

Art and technology

But the culture must not be forgotten. Mankind also needs creativity for art, music and literature. These things were created much later, however, when people already had the opportunity to freely concentrate on non-essential things – invented luxury, if you like. So are there different types of creativity?

Creative processes

If you look at the different artistic disciplines, there are already clear differences. The creative process is very different for people who paint or make music, for example. A painter chooses an object to paint it or possibly thinks up the motif completely. Musicians usually create their melodies out of thin air. There are different styles in both disciplines. But, I think, both have the same goal – to express themselves. To communicate the personal view to the world, give food for thought, convey emotions. This is not quite the case with industrial design. In the design process we try to understand the customers, or rather the customers of our customers. We help other people, so to speak, to express themselves. But can you compare industrial design and art in this way? Is there such a thing as artistic and technical creativity?

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Creative methods

Art and technology

I think that software development, for example, is a very creative profession as well. The person creates the program from the imagination. So it’s a creative activity similar to making art. The creators think about things, talk about them and thus come up with an idea. The same applies to industrial design. You transform an idea into a physical object, give it a shape. We develop on the basis of scientific knowledge, at our own discretion and intuition. There are certainly many other technical professions that can be considered creative. So, can you learn creativity?

Creative methods

Because everyone working in the above-mentioned professions learns the necessary tools during their training or studies, i think that you can learn to be creative. It’s more a question of attitude. If you walk around the world with your eyes opened, you will see a lot of things that will inspire you. Everyday things and services can still be improved, there is still a lot to do. The zeitgeist changes, we have to adapt to the world, but we also make the world adapting to our needs. But how can you change people’s attitudes? There are methods that work for creative processes. In the documentation of these methods, you can read exactly what to do, like a cooking recipe. For example, when brainstorming or brainwriting, a stimulating atmosphere is initially created. An environment is created in which no judgment is made so that the participants dare to express their ideas and ideas unfiltered.

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creative methods

Design Thinking

These methods are also used in other professions under the term design thinking. The mindset of designers, like open mindedness and curiosity, should be conveyed by teaching the working methods to the participants. Once the spark has jumped, a real fire can arise. So creativity can be learned. All it takes is a little distance from things so that they can be viewed impartially. If you take yourself back and let your thoughts wander, for example during a train ride, you get the ideas all by yourself. At least that’s how it feels.

Creativity block

Every creative worker also has to deal with blockages. It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself if the (supposedly) good ideas don’t come right away. For me it is usually the case that I wait about a week after the first briefing and do not really deal with the project or topic during this time at all. And mostly after about three days, the ideas come all by themselves. For example, when I’m sitting on the train in the morning and my thoughts wander. As an artist or musician, at some point you have dealt with the things that disturb you and your own opinion has been turned into a creative product and before you can pounce on something new, you may feel an emptiness. It is therefore important to always get new input, to think outside the box and to deal with things that are outside the comfort zone. As an industrial designer, you have the luxury of being able to fall back on other people’s ideas.

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