Rich Gold drew this cartoon matrix to show the 4 creative hats of creativity he had worn during his career, described in his book Plenitude. He describes the behaviours of people who live in each quadrant and probes the differences between them. But it is interesting to look at how they drive forward innovative thinking. Patrons of artists have to believe in what the artist may create...As Gold puts it "an artist paints a painting, stares at it, and says ' isn't it beautiful, it expresses my inner vision perfectly'".
But users of, and customers for the output of designers take a different viewpoint.
The designer paints a painting, stares at it, then turns it around to the audience and asks 'do you like it? No? then I'll change it.' When it works, when the designer can home in on an audience's wave length, it is an amazing and beautiful trick."
I was looking at back at the design technologies we introduced that enabled interactions using digits- fingers, pens/pencils that are embodied in tools like Visionmaker, PortfolioWall and the iPhone or iPod Touch. and began to muse on the Whitworth Art Gallery exhibition Art and Films of Lynn Hershman Leeson that I realised could have acted as a provocation for these innovations. Her work Deep Contact created on videodisc between 1984 and 1989.
allows the user to explore the sequences on the piece arranged in a branching tree-like structure.
The artist's erotic twist is to involve the viewer through the tactility of the interface; this is interesting as people when they are sketching or writing use different tools that draw different lines- pen (fountain ball-point rollerball), pencil (HB, 6H), brush (round, flat)- and also give different feedback, which can be modified by the media under the tool (paper, canvas, etc).
A designed interface that does not consider the users and how they lay down a mark will struggle to become accepted. Tablet PC's I believe are struggling with this aspect as we are moving from "poking" to writing and the interaction of the surface of the media and the stick is very different from our habitual experiences... we need to move from a functional device to a useful application that is worth investing time and attention.....and it takes time and effort to build a new habit. In my case I guess I might struggle for years... the beauty of a tablet separate from a PC is that you can attach a surface to change the feedback to suit one's style.. brings other problems like removing the mark from the end of the tool.
Hmmm..... Maslow might help us look at more than just functionality
Pictur uploaded by A.M. Kuchling. Used with thanks under CC.
Moving the application of technology expressed in an artwork to a successful designed work that has a balance of usefulness in functional and aesthetic terms is a journey around Rich Gold's matrix:
It is the interaction of Art, Science, Engineering and Design that achieves devices like the iPod; there is strategic design of the whole system, tactical (iterative) design of the iPod itself based on an artistic expression of its shape which is a packaging system for miniaturisation technologies engineered at reasonable cost from pioneering scientific discoveries
It is worth pondering on the quote in Wired
"Undoubtedly the greatest strength -- and arguably the greatest achievement -- of Jonathan Ive and the Apple design team is that they are never, ever satisfied," said Alice Rawsthorn, then director of London's