Science: Steering creativity in design

19th September 2017

So, our last blog post on #AccomplishFurther, Artists: Created to Create got us ruminating on creativity and its role in the other ‘not so obvious’ fields. Most people would identify designers, artists, and musicians as creative influencers but what about a scientist, researcher or a coder? Try typing in creative inspiration on that search bar of Pinterest or Instagram, and realistically how often is someone going to pin or #AlbertEinstein? Science is perceived as rather drab, yet it is the core of creativity — exploring questions we don’t have the answers to. But, the true sign of scientific intellect is imagination, the creative organisation of our curiosity, and in that very process lies true adventure.

The trending paradigm shift among health organisations, to invest in prevention rather than cure demonstrates this scientific creativity. Advancements in food science are ingeniously solving the problem caused by debilitating diseases through a different approach of starting with the fundamentals – EAT RIGHT. This kind of groundbreaking research always begins with wonder, followed by problem-solving. But, science has had its fair share of being bullied as ‘uncool’ or plain ‘boring’- the unreal perceptions faced in all fields. For instance, the media invariably paints us the picture of designers, fashion influencers and artists lead a solely glamorous lifestyle. Realistically, it is not as alluring as it is made out to be. Lately, for many millennials ‘Nerdy’ seems to be the ‘New Cool’ as attitudes towards STEM education are changing and sitcoms like Big Bang theory make it less serious. Perceived as on trend, #WomenInSTEM, continues to gain media attention with influencers such as rapper who in 2009, set up his foundation supporting STEM education. He built his band Black Eyed Peas more like a brand, approaching companies with ideas on how they could work together and still retain their artistic freedom. He applies this same approach to technology, combining two creative outlets at once — scientific thinking and artistic sensibilities.

Taking it a notch higher, we explored creativity in science and its higher purpose beyond just profits. It’s fascinating how experimental treatment is saving lives and giving people hope for the future. Being a part of Dr. Richard Burt’s stem cell study, allowed, once bedridden Elizabeth Cougentakis to recover completely from myasthenia graves (MG). Like Dr. Burt, many scientists and doctors around the world are reimagining the norm and studying new and innovative ways to benefit from immunotherapy. There’s thus always somewhere in the world, someone exploring sustainable solutions to make a huge difference and impacting lives for the better. Developing such experimental studies is thus so essential in driving forward innovation and helping others. This kind of experimentation and on-going research requires infrastructure, philanthropy, and support of many unsung heroes who strive to fulfil the higher purpose of science.

Science, thus, is an experimental field. It moves through being inventive and is available to everyone to contribute. Design, like science, is about creative experimentation, taking risks and teams working together to focus on solutions rather than creative egos. Skill sets coming together to reimagine the conventions and create great products that are not just aesthetic but functional and commercially viable. The science behind making dictates the direction of creativity. For instance — FashionTech, 3D printing, wearable technology, and platforms allowing scientists and designers to collaborate in order to stimulate innovation and excitement in the younger generation producing a ‘think-outside-the-box’ momentum.

Creativity in design will undeniably look at science for optimised solutions in the foreseeable future, however, without neglecting the savoir-faire of craftsmanship. Similarly, at Arran Frances, our design process involves an intertwining of inspiration and scientific experimentation to develop quality solutions for our customers and we nurture its possibility and accomplish it through skilled craftsmanship alongside sophisticated technology. For us, science steers creativity in design. We encourage collaborations across various fields in science bringing creative research alive and using design as a way to explore different materials, metals, and textures.

Science is so prevalent around us that we tend to treat it as mundane, adopting it so quickly as a part of our lives and tending to forget it soon after, not stopping enough to appreciate it like how we would towards perhaps a designer piece. When ironically science in some way has steered creativity in that very same piece at some point. Pablo Picasso once said, ‘If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.’ Creativity though is not just about using the brain or our eyes, it’s remembering that we can be creative by both intelligent thought and seek visual inspiration, to generate unprecedented results on this journey of discovery.

Arran Frances Blogs, Science