Creativity, Imagination & Design Thinking
Creativity and imagination are the building blocks of design, something we all know, but here is the thing we are all born with the ability to imagine and think creatively. But if you are in the creative industry, architect, designer, writer, filmmaker etc, it takes more than an innate ability to churn great work. Just like all kids are creative, but as they grow older they do things the ‘way it’s supposed to be’ and by the time they are adults creative thinking goes out of the window. Similarly just being naturally talented doesn’t always work in the creative industry, it takes more than that. It takes methodical training, rigor, design methodologies and an undying commitment to WHAT IF.
In fact these methodologies and processes can be applied to other industries as well. Creativity and imagination don’t need to be building blocks of the creative field only, intact when these processes are used in other industries we coin it as Design Thinking. There are many definitions of this term but my favorite is an add on of Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie’s definition, Design thinking is actually a systematic approach to problem solving, where systematic approach means imagination combined with creative methods.
Imagination; What if
Designers and artists think differently, the reason being they see things others don’t because they ask questions. Asking WHAT IF is the most crucial part of the design process. Imagining a product, service or system without any preconceived notions, moreover the process is rethinking the world as we know of it.
Creative methods; Tools of the trade
Designers have toolboxes too, like any other industry that is involved in the art of doing and making things. Only designer’s toolbox has more of metaphoric tool in it, these tools are the methodologies that enable them to create, iterate and innovate. I am listing some of these methodologies that I have been using for the last the 10 years as a designer.
Value chain / SWOT analysis
Liedtka, Jeanne & Ogilvie, Tim(2011). Design for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers. Columbia Business School Publishing
Dubberly,Hugh (2004). How do you design- A Compendium of Models. San Francisco: Dubberly Design Office