19 Mar Luciana Silvares: From Freedom, Creation and Hard Work
A designer can create almost anything or any product. So we are free, maybe the most free professionals.
Of course we need technical support to materialise our creations, but we have ideas and we contemplate the world from different angles, and this is what makes us a powerful resource for any company or agency.
Maybe because we are more critical than average, because we perceive the smallest nuances and situations or because we are constantly analysing surroundings and society: we are CONSTANTLY CREATING!
But how do these “creations” convert into tangible products?
There is a long way from the idea to the final product!
What the biggest mistake regarding our profession may be, is to think that anyone that is halfway artistically gifted already has enough qualifications to become a design professional. This common sense gives our profession an aura of “destiny” which is in the long run damaging our professional image.
Talent alone does not make the product. Ideas and creativity are needed, but creation is a process, where concentration and passion are needed. It is not simply waiting until the ultimate idea reaches our minds and then all the work is done.
Some months ago I read that a global celebrity was nominated to be the Creative Design Director of a major automotive OEM. This really shocked me! So, anyone can be a designer? The only ability needed is to be famous and maybe have “good taste” or a “nice style”?
No. Design has to be learned. A creative mind wanting to be a designer needs to study design and learn the process of creation.
In daily business we often have the feeling of not being taken seriously, especially because our concepts or proposals are not based on numbers, statistics or “facts”. In short, the reason for our decisions are often abstract and not provable.
Designers observe the needs and trends of our society and that is the reason for our decisions.
Real innovation cannot be proven by numbers to be successful, because any really new products have to be tested in the market before we know by numbers that it is going to be successful.
Design is a combination of market analysis, logical conclusions and finally the talent and expertise to convert all these elements into an aesthetically successful result.
In the case of the celebrity, this was obviously a kind of marketing and PR move, but how could something like this happen?
One reason could be that terms such as luxury and glamour are strongly connected to the word “design”. Also taste or “having good taste” are supposed to be intrinsic qualities of design professionals generally. This is maybe because over the years any product with a good appearance was automatically named a “design product”, an adjective given as a way to add value to the product.
There is nothing wrong in adding value to a product through design methodologies, but banalising the work and profession of designers, or creators generally, reduces our professionals to mere drawers or stylists.
In fact creation is fulfilment, it is a stroke of genius and helps our society to evolve.
This is the essence of our work and this is what we should constantly communicate within the corporation or to the outside world.
By doing this we will, at the end of the day, be protecting our image, our profession and, last but not least, our professional value!