A List Apart’s latest edition (#254) is all about design, and approaches the subject from two very different angles.

Naz Hamid has written about perfecting your designs by paying attention to all the little details. I wasn’t hugely impressed by this article. I echo some of the comments made in that the article didn’t offer a lot of original insights (“less is more” and “take a 15-minute break now and then”), but I guess the importance of an eye for detail and getting all the little finishes into your designs is worth the reminder.

On Creativity by Andy Rutledge sparked a lot more interest from me. What creativity is, and what being “a creative” means, needs clarification within the context of the business of design. Particularly relevant is his discussion of constraints being the source of creativity and not its enemy. Creativity being technical and analytical, and not merely self-expression also rang true.

Creativity is…

“never having to say you’re sorry. Creativity is precious; it is a glowing light that resides within each one of us, making us special and unique”

Well, not really.

Explaining creativity as the process of understanding in detail, problem-solving and qualitative discrimination that comes from a specialist extends beyond design and into other disciplines and business in general. In a nutshell, Andy is saying that creativity in the design and business world is about having a disciplined and intelligent approach to solving problems, then using your specific skills to deliver what clients are paying you for, and not just sharing your innate uniqueness with the world.

While on creativity, I recently came across this video of a talk by Sir Ken Robinson. This entertaining talk (in an old-academic-dad kind of way) discusses how our school systems are completely skewed against creativity and in fact are geared towards drumming the creativity out of people. It’s worth a watch (or listen) if you have 20 minutes to spare. In fact those TED talks have some interesting presentations by some pretty big names.

One comment

  1. TED rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for introducing me to it. :D