Look around your studio. How many of your fellow designers/creatives are sitting hunched over their Macs, headphones on, plugged into their own private world?
Whatever happened to conversation?
Discussion, bouncing ideas off one another is a vital part of the creative process. tomato cite it as the central part of their working philosophy – everything, for them, starts with a conversation.
But now designers arrive at work and immediately plug in. They spend their days in a world of their own. The iPod, that supposed epitome of creative endeavour, is anaesthetising the world that created it. We’re all turning into zombies.
At the Design Indaba conference last year, Paul Sahre showed a film of him working – his brother had made it because he was so horrified at what he saw when he had visited Sahre’s studio. For the entire film, Sahre just sits in front of his screen, cans on, utterly absorbed but utterly disconnected from the world around him.
Design studios used to be full of banter – work-related or otherwise. Now all you can hear is the tssk, tssk of a dozen headphones.
Sure, you can still hold meetings and discuss the work, but who ever had a great idea at a “brainstorming” session? There’s something about the appearance of a flipchart that just sucks the life out of a room.
Great ideas come about either when you are busy doing something else – walking, taking a shower – or through talking to another human being. So please, let’s take off the headphones and try talking to each other: you might hear something interesting.