Con Kennedy Visual Communications

Design Research

What is Creativity?

It has been long articulated that creativity is the most important competency required by designers. Creativity is required by designers in order to successfully solve design problems for clients. Creativity is required for ‘coming up with new and valuable ideas’, ‘building brands’ and ‘helping clients to innovate’and draws upon many spheres including innovation, technology, business and culture which are then used to create new more powerful combinations.

Creativity is is not a ‘talent’, but a cognitive skill that can be learned and nurtured. Creativity is a powerful skill which can be utilized by individual designers. Design is a distinct competency that is exclusive to designers.

Designers make design decision without the complete picture, and with limited information within a given timeframe. Designers often go through a sense-making process in collecting and curating information into a central location where it can be manipulated. Absorbing and synthesis of information and elements in which designer make sense of complexity by doing things.

Creativity requires an understanding of the design problem at hand and that the solution that will be arrived at requires an insight by the designer to the needs and wants of both the client and the end user. Designers produce solutions that require a level of thinking appropriate to the brief or situation and are capable of designing multiple concepts or solutions without a knowledge of all the details or information that the client may have. Designers use ideas to establish a connection between the deign solution and the end user by communicating an intrinsic value in what they are creating.

Designers look beyond what is familiar in order to create solutions, by doing so, designers discover ideas by re-framing and explore the use colour, typography, illustration and texture. Creativity involves the ability to sift though data, perception and materials to come up with new combinations that are useful. Designers have a set of unique qualities, namely their experience, expertise and their own personal experiences in which they utilize in order to frame the design problem at hand and model potential design solutions. The design practitioner collects data and information which are mapped with with experiences, emotions and knowledge, and are then filtered through a cognitive and deliberate process, with the purpose of arriving at a final solution.

Infographic - Creativity

Creativity can be defined as the conscious and unconscious synthesis of tacit knowledge, which may be existing in the individual and drawn upon from the individual’s cognitive and experiential repository, or may be derived form new information supplied by the client, or gathered through research that is combined with experiences of the individual and filtered though a deliberate cognitive thought process and or design thinking methodologies in which potential solutions are developed that are then iterated and refined until potential design solutions are developed.

This explains how different designers develop different design solutions in response to the same client brief. This is because each deigned has a unique cognitive and experiential repository to draw upon. The diagram also shows how the creative process requires a deliberate and conscious actions in order to arrive at possible solutions. These design solutions are then iterated and refined through a cognitive process and methodologies on order to arrive at an acceptable conclusion. This iteration process may naturally come to a conclusion or may be forced into a conclusion because of budgetary pressures or impending client deadlines.

© Con Kennedy 2014.

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