Designers and Creative Thinking

It will set you apart.

Designers have ideas and can be valuable assets to any company in this day and age. They contribute to any brand in ways that are not limited to just visual solutions. Designers ask questions, conduct research, and present real life challenges. Why? Well, this is how we come across useful and successful solutions. Creative Thinking is the process in how we discover new ideas and innovative concepts. The more you practice it, the better you will get, but sometimes it always feels like you are a beginner.

The big question remains — can you teach creative thinking?

The Value of a Beginner

It’s true that practice improves performance, but in the case of Creative Thinking, it can be valuable and useful to stay a beginner.

When a designer embarks on a new project in a business or territory that they have no yet explored, they offer a fresh perspective. Their amateur and undirected concepts come from the fact that they will try anything. They are not confined by preconceived ideas or processes and this can be freeing and liberating when coming up with questions, ideas, and directions. The beginner will not repeat what they already know, because they are unfamiliar with anything related to the business or problem. In this way, they are forced to do things in an unusual way and this can produce the most useful outcomes.

Be Yourself

While seeking for originality, you can often get caught up in previous solutions or processes. Trying to emulate someone else’s process or great solution is the very killer of creativity. You must be willing to be yourself, including all weaknesses and strengths. Both weaknesses and strengths will help to make your own solution or idea a unique one. Do not compare, just think and just create and you will find this yields the most innovative results.

Generate

This one is easy. Just go ahead and create! Stop humming and hawing, and just try things. Sketch, prototype, build, draw, mold, shape, explore etc. Get it out of your system and MAKE! The process of making will also lead to other innovative ideas and creativity that would not be executed otherwise. So go ahead and just generate.

Don’t think Logistically

Throw logistics out the window. Practical and logistical considerations often tie down the mind and limit it’s ability to think outside of preconceived ideas. Go ahead and think about the most insane ideas you have ever had, they are more likely to materialize into something innovative. The logistical mind will circle back to what is known to succeed — and really, how innovative and creative is that?

Disrupt and Doubt

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” — Voltaire

Doubt questions everything and opens new doors for improvement. If you are skeptical and convince yourself there is always room for improvement or innovation, you will not be content with how things currently operate. Disrupt the expectations of what already exists and just doubt everything you see. If there is doubt, there is a key to unlocking new ideas.

Stay Hungry

Finally, just always crave change. You need to want change and innovation. You must stay passionate about questioning things and challenging ways of creating. Think about anything you encounter on a daily basis and question why it is this way and not completely different. Are we just going through the motions? Why can’t this be the exact opposite of what it is now? Would it still function? Just keep asking yourself these questions and alway stay doubtful because it will untie your brain and foster possibilities.

Creative Thinking is uncomfortable, liberating, and a way of thinking that is not calculated or guaranteed — you must nurture it and foster it, but you will still have days where your ideas are just not flowing.


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