Creative pioneers: Jim Sutherland on how to have a (good) idea

In this series, Jim Sutherland, Caroline Pay, Michael Johnson, Zia Zareem Slade and Sir John Hegarty explain how they approach the tricky task of coming up with an idea. First up, Jim Sutherland of Studio Sutherl&

CR: Do you use any tools and techniques that help you come up with ideas? Are there any things that you use if you are stuck?

I don’t think I am a fan of techniques because I think that tries to make it a science, which I am not sure it is. For me, visual stimulus is the key: going to lots of exhibitions, reading lots of books. Going to see designers talk, artists talk, writers talk. Watching lots of films, listening to lots of music. I think all of that stuff feeds in. I don’t think there is a short cut to doing all of that. If you don’t do that, the work isn’t going to have a broad enough view.

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