Creating & 6th grade science

MediaPost Publications Research Hypotheses Before Creative Work 07/17/2013ondak-venice

This article came across my twitter feed by way of someone I am so glad to know. Equally left and right-brained in the talent department, she’s a CD for a Verbal Branding department in a lovely NC agency. The phrase “verbal branding” makes me giggle & squeal like a thirteen year old poring over teen-beat, and it will every time.

The article (which I’ll admit is a bit dry) deals with the idea that researching, using the ole scientific method, is a surefire way to smarter, more effective advertising; yielding better results for the customer’s experience, as well as the advertiser’s bottom line.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like yelling a slightly-too-loud, “WELL DUH!” at the computer screen after reading that.

I guess that’s why I’m writing this post.

Usually, I’d blame it on my anthropology background, but it’s not difficult to see the ties between science and design. And do not even get me started on the link between math and design– it’s just like the redundancy’s department of redundancy. The two are one in the same.

Science, like design, has a set of processes–rules– that allows the unknowns to flow in. Without structure, there’s no room for flowing fluid goodness known as creativity.  Design knows this, it’s why we all love and document process so carefully. The same is true for science. Using a hypothesis– or a “I think we will get X outcome with Y action” and then following through a course of set steps in achieving said goal, is ultimately the easiest way to a successful design solution. It’s also deductive reasoning, which is logic.

Creating, especially design, but really broadly–creating, is problem solving. In some cases, the problem you’re solving is one of internal expression and the agony of articulating that inner experience. In others, it’s how to get as many people to see your product, at once, and connect with it instantly.  And yet in other cases, you’re asked to solve why a group of people are suddenly coming down with a severe case of brain diseases. But the method in solving that problem will always be a set of rules, that allows you to declare what you know, explore what you don’t know,  to define what ultimately will/could be. It’s a magical thing, but not entirely elusive.

Recognizing that there is some method in the creative madness allows the pressure to release; away from the archaic notions of muses. It focuses you to create based on what is important: the end result, the effect, the customer, the experience. Not the “oh this would be cool”, or the “you know what I just saw” aspect of the design process, but the problem solving part. That’s the part I instantly resonated with when I met design, but it’s also the same part that I fell in love with in science, in anthropology, in philosophy, and geometry. To not recognize how they all stream together is to stifle your own abilities as a creative person.

Embrace the structure so that you can free your yummy creativity to its fullest measure. Embrace the science, the process and the rules and your designs will absolutely flourish. You can count me on it.

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