Technology and The Changing Creative Culture


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This article is written by Mrinalini Sardar, Communication Designer from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, The article was published in issue 08 of the Social Technology Quarterly.
Summary: Digital technologies have significant effects on creative domains, especially impacting the relationship among designers, designs and tools, creating a whole new creative culture.

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Technology and The Changing Creative Culture

  1. 1. 50 Technology and the Changing Creative Culture Digital technologies have significant effects on creative domains, especially impacting the relationship among designers, designs and tools, creating a whole new creative culture. by Mrinalini Sardar Photo Credit: Wacom Communities
  2. 2. Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 The power of digital design is spreading like wild fire. The possibilities of creativity have magnified. From the days of carving and spreading inks on wooden blocks, creating letterpress lovelies to using the web as a medium for social expression and sharing creativity, the world is moving rapidly. Technology is changing perceptions and thinking. But it is not changing ideas. As Kevin Kelly, Founder Executive Editor of Wired magazine proclaims, “Technology is only a tool driven by human energy” and “it needs an identity.” In the creative domain, the identity of technology lies with us, the designers. As designers, there is a huge responsibility on us to shape not only the future of technology, but also the future of the microcosm as it progresses to face more challenges and complexities. For cultures to flourish, they need to re- invent themselves and keep up with the times. Similarly, designers have to update themselves with trends in technology to develop their designs. The purpose of design is to solve a problem. With technology intercepting the design process at the right phase, it will help in creating more functional solutions. An example of this would be the adaptation by creatives to new age drawing tools and gestural capabilities of such devices. The Wacom tablet, foremost in digital drawing tools, is experimenting with newer ways to reduce time required to create a piece of artwork. Integrating the hand touch with the stylus doubles its capabilities. The attempt is to bridge the gap between the physical and digital disconnect which indicates a paradox between how the physical drawing tool will be replicated in a digital way to last longer and be more functional. With the introduction of the Wacom Inkling, physical drawings in notebooks can be instantly converted into vector art. Touch tablets and smartphones have enabled gadgets to become sketchpads for creatives. As drawing tools evolve, so have designers who are adapting to these tools. Open-source economics is changing creative cultures. Open platforms, such as Open IDEO, ideate on design challenges. Open IDEO is a global community that draws concepts from one’s optimism, inspiration, ideas and opinions in order to solve problems together for the collective social good. More and more companies have begun to tackle issues through this global network wherein good ideas are generated to come to the best possible solution instead of a pre-conceived solution. Organizations such as Amnesty International and Barclays have sponsored challenges to help technology aid people to uphold human rights against the face of unlawful detention. Another important insight is the information and usage of open source tools like “processing” for creating unique visual solutions and new generative art. It is art that interacts with humans and has the ability to change the concept of branding. Photo credit: Knovel
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  4. 4. Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 53 Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away Marcus Aurelius
  5. 5. Projection mapping is another innovative method of representing ideas. In this, the substrate or base for projection changes to a daily object instead of a screen. In the future, product projections themselves will be editable and shared easily for feedback. Open-source will be a key trend to cluster creatives to experiment and innovate. Projection motion is the current trend in the creative circuit especially among advertising and branding professionals. A motion graphic communicates an improved way of communicating with cultures and transforming a brand experience. Building motion typography is also the way through which designers have adapted themselves to technology, as they are not only creating stagnant, decorative or legible fonts but also are creating radical ways of interactions through typography and motion. Digital and more interactive publications are changing the publishing culture. Almost every print magazine has an online presence and information is being stored at many levels in these publications. Patrick Burgoyne, Chief Creative Editor of The Creative Review recounts about the time when major design print publications were shutting down in the U.K. and he managed to save his own company by having a web, mobile and touch surface present. Adobe Digital Publishing suite is a good start to understand the potential of interactive publishing wherein ads come alive and pages turn. Wired Magazine, along with Adobe, is trying to generate novel ways of how magazines and publications will be read in the future. Print will become more exclusive, limited and customized. With the addition of HTML 5, the web culture is undergoing a massive change. Technology is being used in creating tools in order to provide designers simpler and more functional tools. Designers can best assert their merit and potential through the way they share their work on the web. Online portfolio sites and Photo Credits Top: Wired Middle: Gizmodo Bottom: Emma’s Design Blog
  6. 6. Kuliza Social Technology Quarterly Issue 08 a metamorphosis, from print to digital and from research to prototyping. But it is important to understand that design and technology are both powered by human energy. The functionality of design to solve a problem will remain, but what will transform are the tools and methods through which problems will be solved in simple ways. Technology will help transform social structures and cultures because we have allowed them to. The more adaptive designers are to technology the more it will mould their designs and creations for a more creative and better tomorrow. References Kelly,Kevin.Kevin Kelly tells technology’s epic story.2010. Benkler,Yochai.Yochai Benkler on the new open- source economics.2008. “HTML,”Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia. Sommer,Ryan.“Q&A: Patrick Burgoyne of Creative Review on what makes a great designer.” Econsultancy.22 Jan 2013. creative communities are thriving through sites such as Deviant Art and Behance. Portfolio sharing sites are making huge business out of customizing and making the construction of a website simpler, less time consuming and devoid of code. Behance Pro Site and Cargo Collective can be considered as potential platforms that allow more designers to engage and showcase their work to the world. Another transformation in process is in the way we design and purchase design. With the advent of three-dimensional printing, the power to design lies in the hands of consumers. Trends lean heavily towards customization and personalization. Maker Bot brought the 3D Printer to homes and have not only changed the way designers construct prototypes but also paved way for people to customize designs and detail their experiences with products. When looking at the way design itself has changed, one perspective is that of how technology has brought designers closer to nature. There are several studies being conducted in the field of biomimicry. Designers are coming close to emulating models closer to nature and building more sustainable human models. Another perspective is that of how big data has influenced design. 2012 was the year of big data. But 2013 is the year of nano data: data that has been intelligently filtered according to recorded profile information. Analytics and data have helped businesses grow and understand user patterns. In the future nano data will help creatives to make smarter choices by filtering and focusing on content. Reliability ratings will help artworks sell. Cloud services will flourish in the future where all creative personnel will be digital nomads working across multiple locations around the globe. With the sands shifting in technology, creative cultures are bound to change. Every domain of design will undergo