Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation, Part 04

Back after a long hiatus, between Thanksgiving, a dead laptop and a nasty upper respiratory infection. Bring on 2009!!

Anyway, here’s the final installment from Matt Mattus‘ great book, Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. More traits of true designers, aka “culture creators”:

Trait 09: They Respect Rarity

Culture creators celebrate rare expressions of individuality. They’re obsessed with not only observing life, but with studying the debris of life, as well. In doing so, they place value on what others deem worthless and see wonder in the refuse of everyday life.

They’re attracted to original objects, either man-made or those ephemeral creations of nature. They have a unique perspective on life and often craft their own identities from a complex mixture of categorizing, cataloging and collecting. Something that is one-of-a-kind is typically priceless to a culture creator.

Trait 10: They Are Original

Culture creators don’t follow established leaders. Their ultimate goal is originality – something that’s often difficult to identify until they find it. Being truly original is often a moving target that they’re always chasing.

Culture creators are acutely aware of their position and status in the greater scheme of world cultural development. Their vision is often so clear to themselves that they have little patience with those who fail to connect intellectually to their unconventional processes.

Since boldy going where no one has gone before is often a scary proposition for most people, culture creators can be perceived as arrogant. In a world steeped in the familiar, originality can actually be frightening.

Culture creators never default to a formula. They prefer to sow the seeds of phenomenon.

The Future of Creators

The last word here – aimed at designers and creative professionals – is Matt’s:

“One time, not so long ago, the highest position a creative could have in an organization would be that of creative director – but today, executive search firms are on the hunt for the next hot futurist, imagineer or chief creative officer. Our culture has a heightened respect for design, and big business needs what creative types have to offer: our brains.

We cannot control where design is going, but we can be assured that the ride to get there will be all too exciting. It’s up to us to create the world that is beyond trend.”

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