Tips & Advice

Design Innovation and Culture Creation — Part 02

More from Matt Mattus‘ great book on design innovation, Beyond Trend: How to Innovate in an Over-Designed World. Here are a few more traits of what Mattus calls “culture creators”:

Trait 03: They develop their intellect.

Much like a terrier on the scent, the mind of a culture creator is wired to learn, learn, learn. They have an enormous respect for the history of art and design. Every past movement, every zeitgeist creative leader, every cultural icon in the design world, they love to learn more about and celebrate.

Understanding things such as why the opulence of Victorian style affected the Arts and Crafts movement’s stark purity is just the sort of fact retention that moves a culture creator to learn even more. Culture creators can identify nuances in influence and have an insatiable appetite for knowledge that can affect their creative work. They use knowledge as a building tool that allows them to inject context and relevance into every idea they invent.

Trait 04: They are respectful.

Have you ever had to go on a diet to lose a few pounds? One of the basic tenets all successful diets share is the idea of “practicing conscious eating.” Practicing conscious eating means that you consider every influence, you taste each bite.

Culture creators exercise mindful creation all the time because it all connects for them. Their ideas flow from a sea of influence that’s been collected over time and analyzed, evaluated and in some cases reconsidered before being stored away in their brains. The knowledges and influences we have today are really ideas that have come from other minds; a certain amount of respect is due to those who have come before.

Culture creators respect design’s history as well as its future. And as a result – it’s worth repeating – they build context and relevance into every solution they create.

Trait 05: They’re attracted to excellence

Culture creators have a deep passion for excellence in design as well as other disciplines. Excellent food, music and film are inspiring to them. They have a true appreciation for things that are done with skill and attention to detail, whether it’s perfect stitching in a shirt, an intriguing set design or a perfectly composed gourmet meal.

Just as they prize knowledge, originality and expertise, culture creators are attracted to a job well done. An amazing atten tion to detail, an exceptionally well thought-out concept or a stunning execution will get their attention. Better yet, a truly excellent creation will have all of these attributes.

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