Innate Design Skills

Design, Designers

Innate Design Skills: Looking for Origins

Ballyn, John

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There is something very intriguing about the innate creativity expressed by some artisans but not others. I have a great interest and some experience in developing training materials for use by enterprises in cultural sector, but have been working from the other end – the demands of the market. Why? That is how and where my experiences have led me. I too, believe in implementing ecologically sound and sustainable design, combined with the use of sustainable raw materials, non-toxic chemical products, low-energy tools and equipment, replacing consumer whim with real need. But I find that I can only truly implement such ideas where it can be achieved without inflicting substantial additional risks to the producer group than they have already. Unfortunately unless makers know that the ideas for products that one wishes to make are wanted, or indeed needed, by society, there is no safe way to proceed with their production, without risking a level of existence which most artisans find precarious. While I agree there are there are extraordinary designer/makers and artisans who have exceptional innate design skills combined with an astuteness in reading customers, based on a long tradition and sense of craft as a spiritual calling, the majority of the people practising as artisans rely heavily for product ideas on middlemen, as well those "designers (who) 'intervene' as honest brokers between traditional craft and modern markets" which you mention. Sadly, the transition from high-volume global econom...
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