Creative Investigation

Creative Investigation
Creativity is fundamental aspect of every designer, to see thing in a new and unusual way, finding unique solution for problems. It is also a gift of human being, which machine or computer cannot reproduced. However, the term 'creativity' has not been clearly defined yet. This essay discusses about the creative method, techniques and idea generation of a designer, Jonathan Ive, who is the principle designer of the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
Jonathan Ive was born in February 1967 in Chingford of England. When he was a child, he always interested in making things, he used to take apart radios and cassette recorders and then try to put them back again. Ive has been see as a hard working and creative person among his colleges. In one of the press interview, Ive said that he choose computer design while everybody in that time choose car design, because he loves and wants more challenges. The computer has many opportunities for designer to put in, many new technology for designer to innovated, so the opportunities as well as the challenges are endless. Beside the challenging and hard-working personalities, Ive is a creative person as well. He always tried to find the true appeal of the product he is designing, and usually ignored the traditional approach of design. The way he thinks and apply to his design can be called "out of the box", which also mean creative. Ive inspiration can comes from anywhere, from a gumdrop candy to the first iMac, or a water drop to the iMac's mouse, and even the iPod is like a cigarette pack of those who addicted to music instead of cigarette.

In the first place, new creative idea usually consider as weird to the people around, because it contradicts the usual critical thinking. Therefore, it need more socially independent and high self confident for the person with creative thinking to keep carry on his ideas. Jonathan Ive has been through this problem, when his idea was rejected and put away when design the iMac. Until Steve Job, a co-founder of Apple Inc, came back, he realized Ive?s talent and put his design in to production. Ive?s design has gone through three stages: translucency, minimalism, and dark aluminum. The important stage, in which still influence Ive?s in the future is the minimalism stage. In this stage, Ive?s ideas were heavily influences by Dieter Rams, a German Industrial designer. The idea was ?honest? and ?simplicity? design. There were many famous products came out in this phase, such as the iPod, iMac, which has simple design (round rectangular), and simple color used. The style of products designed at this period of time were so different from the style of the previous phase. So was it Dieter Rams?s ideas had enlighten Ive?s design? Yes indeed, however, Ive?s concept can be called ?revolution of a classic concept?, which we will discuss later on in creative methods.
Creative thinking is not just a pop-up thought, it's process of thinking that goes through certain analysis stages, included brainstorms, mind-map, sketch, etc. According to Robert Harris, creative thinking included generative, looks for new possibilities, makes judgment change, subjective but always has an answer, develops the right brain, works through visualizations and associations producing novelty. Robert Harris also states five major creative methods: evolution, synthesis, revolution, reapplication, and changing in direction. The first method is about improvement ideas from other existing ideas, such as in Jonathan Ive?s concept has been evolved from Dieter Rams?s ideas. Basically, the term ?evolution? can be seen in human history, when we evolved from apes, but how does it work in design? Actually, it makes an idea better, and better each time from the original. The next method is synthesis, in this method, ideas or concepts has been combined together to come up with new concept or idea. This method has been applied in Ive?s iPod, where he combined the cigarette pack and music together. The revolution creative method is more like a break from evolution method, where there is no more ?better? idea, but ?new? and original idea. Reapplication method look at how to reapplied old idea into a new way. The iMac G5 is a clear example of this method, where Ive reapplied the design of the iPod into a desktop computer. Reapplication method need to have a vision beyond the natural function of an idea to see if it can be applied in other things. Another well-know creative method is changing direction, it happened when we shifted our attention from one angle to another to solve a problem. This method sometimes called creative insight.

Creative thinking, of course, can be applied in my work. For instance, I am currently working on a design project about create a new type rubbish bin. I need to use evolution method to analysis data and find out how to make my new rubbish bin better from the existing one. Beside evolution method, I also need revolution method to look into the problem of the existing product, why people doesn?t want to stay close to rubbish bin, why it smelt, why it is not well design. In addition, synthesis method could be use as well to combine between idea and concept, for example, I could putting technology into rubbish bin, to create a hi-tech rubbish bin.

In conclusion, everyone is creative in some way. Some people have a very high levels of creativity, however, the creativity and creative thinking need and can be suppressed by education and training. There are methods, processes, and way that a person can train to be more creative. The very important thing about creative is that ?you cannot make a new hole by digging it deeper?, which mean we need to come back to the basic aspect of an idea to make a new one. By the end of this essay, creative and creative thinking can be defined as an ability to generate new ideas by combining, changing or reapplying existing ideas, as a process to making improvement and refinement idea and solution, and also as a attitude of a creative person, who willing to accept change and play with ideas and possibilities, just like Jonathan Ive.

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