It might comes as a surprise, but us designers should embrace design-opportunities on a tiny budget.
Here is why.
Clients with a healthy budget usually have a list of specific item requests, us designers must work with. While our creativity is very much expected and the reasons for earning the work order, usually the truth is that, we do not have an unlimited freedom to go 'wild' and present a truly unique,- that is of course- artistic design proposal.
By appropriating and imitating, our goal is to create beauty that is safely unique to meet specific client expectation, it is well understandable, and most definitely not shocking.
Instead of feeling 'trapped' and constrained by the tight financials, we should embrace the opportunity of thinking outside the box, and unleash our creativity, especially when we consider trade-offs.
The word 'create' appeared in English as early as the 14th century. Some research studies have taken a social-personality approach to measure creativity and found that the intensity of personality traits like self-confidence, independence of judgement, attraction to complexity, aesthetic orientation and risk-taking are dominating factors in setting individual level of creativity.
A meta-analysis by George Feist showed that creative people tend to be "more open to new experiences, less conventional and less conscientious, more confident, self-accepting, driven, ambitious, dominant, hostile, and impulsive". I love this definition, and have a great designer immediately in mind, Steve Jobs.
Researchers of creativity also see creative people becoming experts in their field, who add to and build upon previous information in innovative ways, and own the ability as well dedication to problem solving.
At the same time, today's education system is criticized for controlling, and limiting the creative-potential in us.
Creative professions like design are getting increasingly standardized, we have a big mechanism of teaching bodies and curriculum that is socially accepted, and with that setting 'norms' as to what 'good design' is based on.
Ken Robinson (Why schools kill creativity) argues that the current education system is "educating people out of their creativity".
I believe that, a good design is a sustainable design, that is safe for both the user and the environment. And this should be a knowledge prerequisite for all designers. A good design meets the buyer-user's expectation not only at the time of purchase, but also for the future. A good design is timeless, healthy, durable, technically correct and easily adjustable for future needs.
Anything above that, our creative process is effected by colors, forms, materials, function and user preferences, cost restrictions, as well national identities.
An enemy of creativity is the pressure of time. When we are pressured to quickly produce a design plan , it is hard to foster original thinking.
Researchers of creativity noted that, original thinkers strive towards innovation, and originality is considered to be a sufficient condition for creativity, without the necessity of appropriateness. Therefore when we are pressed by time, we focus on appropriateness resulting in a safe, but not so creative outcome.
"Comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in return configures new perspectives and conquers fears" - Dan Stevens
Creativity is essentially not a kind of knowledge or science but, it is a skill kind.
Hamid Rajaei, 2008
"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way" - Edward de Bono
Upcycling is a creative reuse of existing materials, also known as re-purposing. Upcycling is an opportunity to creatively converting useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz in 1994.
William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, state that the goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. Reducing the consumption and use of new raw materials will result in reduction of energy usage, air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Upcycling is a creative, eco-friendly design, where aesthetics, efficiency and ethics are fundamental expression of nature's design.
Upcycling often lowers the financial cost of a project. It is greener than recyling, because energy is saved by not sending the items through the recycling process, nor transporting them through the landfills.
Upcycling allow us to creatively challenge our skills.
It also provides an opportunity to declutter the client's home. Often people are holding on to items because of a sentimental value. Upcycling them is a creative way of finding a new purpose of use, and with that celebrate history.
Upcycling is like a treasure hunt. Creative designers enjoy it, and having fun with it. To top that, will be highly appreciated for their sensitivity, resulting in referrals and attraction of a new client base.
Creatively Less is beautifully More
We should strive to creatively explore, design beyond functional requirements and create exciting spaces that will increase the value of experience, aesthetically pleasing, individually-unique, and inviting.
When we design to build with less, we minimize the environmental footprint of the space. We also reduce maintenance, energy costs and lifetime operations, and as a direct result create a healthier environment for our clients.
Every planning and design choice we make, fresh, bright new solutions should be clear, creative in a helpful way, with focus on efficiency in all details. Creative simplicity in building forms and unexpected, elegant detailing can make the most of any modest materials. Working with and exposing existing structural bearing walls, such as masonry, and creatively applying additional finishes saves resources, reduces installation and maintenance costs, and less pollution is generated. Every space we create we need to support not only the physical, but the intellectual and emotional experiences on a personal level. Creative accessorizing and displaying of items can deliver artistic or cultural experiences and create a pleasant and unique focal point in an inexpensive way. Lacking flexibility and creating only standard formats and looks can appear stale, monotonous, unsophisticated, further more, can also run the risk of quickly becoming outdated.
Minimalist creativity has no rules, easy, and most flexible. Less is a good value, that can express one's values most.