Creative Futures – Design, Originality and You

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 1:9

I took part in a session entitled “Creativity & Creating a Personal Micro Culture” on the 23rd October 2013. It covered a wide variety of subject matter, but I was particularly struck by the notion that there isn’t neccesarily such a thing as original design. Below I have embedded a short “TED Talk” by Austin Kleon on this issue.

The judgement that there isn’t such a thing as an original idea is an interesting one. Before I started doing what I am currently doing, I always used to think of creatives as huge idea machines that were somehow capable of creating countless new designs, concepts and intellectual property in general out of nothing. It is fairly clear now that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Design is a constant process of iteration. Picasso once said “Good artists copy but great artists steal.”, a sentiment which was later echoed much more recently by the late Steve Jobs. This is particularly interesting when you take into consideration Apple’s history in the development of the Graphical User Interface, which was taken from work done by Xerox.

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