nature, every organism (plant, animal, etc.) has a native environment
from which that organism has evolved. While some organisms are more
adaptive to various environments than others, all organisms have
specific environmental conditions that are optimally suited for
them. Similarly, every designer has a creative environment that
is best suited for them. This optimal landscape caters to a designer's
specific strengths and abilities, providing opportunities for nurturance
and growth that other environments cannot give.
designers, we can therefore define the process of personal and professional
development as the quest to find and establish ourselves within
our specifically native creative environment. In this manner, we
are true to ourselves. Each of us exists within our own contextually
appropriate creative space. Once rooted within this environment,
our creative activities will grow forth from a sense of place or
connectedness. From this sense of place, We are aptly suited to
evolve and grow to the natural extent of our abilities and opportunities.
as the health of an environment can be seen in the variety of symbiotic
life forms, so too can the health of a creative environment be seen
in the variety of its expression. While there are competitive dynamics
that promote individual theoretical or aesthetic "life forms"
across a given creative landscape, that environment is much more
vibrant, healthy, and sustainable when the symbiotic relationships
of diversity are maintained. In other words, each creative expression
fills an appropriate niche within a given environment. A "monoculture"
orientation to design voids any possibility of naturally dynamic
interaction and therefore becomes unsustainable and weak when broadly
applied across a given creative endeavor. By valuing individual
expression, our creative environments are naturally robust, with
each expression occupying its appropriate place within the greater
scheme of things.
understanding patterns of similarities and differences between creative
expressions, we gain insights into the wisdom of perspectives that
differ from our own. Creative orientations initially considered
dissimilar may reveal similarities when examined in detail. Conversely,
analyzing similar approaches may reveal conflicting internal structures
or motivations. This deeper understanding of the design process
enables us to create richer expressions of our individual creative
to Brand and Identity
commercial practice, having a clearer sense of place as a designer
allows for a more comprehensive understanding and articulation of
a client's brand. Being grounded in our understanding of self, we
are better able to observe, understand, promote our interpretations
of the cultural connections that are central components to company
projects, rather than simply mimicking current fads or promoting
more personal agendas. In other words, by knowing ourselves we are
more able to observe and interpret inherent characteristics in others
and the organizations they represent, rather than falsely project
attributes that we only wish to see as a by-product of self-projection.
through Media and Technology
media and the technologies that surround them evolve and grow, we
are constantly challenged to grow in step with them. If we are secure
within ourself, we are better able to ride with the waves of technological
advancement in a manner that advances our core competencies. But
without a strong sense of self or place, we are left to drift between
technologies, grasping for things we are told we need rather than
holding those that are inherently within our reach.