Embrace constraints

By Foolproof 17 Oct 2011

So we’re a design firm, but what does that actually mean? The word "creative" would probably need to appear somewhere in the answer. But it’s easy to be creative if you don’t worry too much about solving problems and creating value. So creativity alone is not enough.

So perhaps then it’s problem solving. But then too much emphasis on that would ignore how design can help to discover undiscovered customer needs and opportunities - a key aspect of innovation.

Charles Eames, the renowned designer, offered the view that design is defined by the willingness to embrace constraints.

Constraints aren't negative.

For instance, if a design is focused upon delivering for the over 65's, then this constraint is a great source of inspiration, because we know that it is through the empathic understanding of the people who will use the final output that great design is realised.

Technical or physical constraints provide inspiration too, if a design is for the mobile device market for example then the special qualities of the mobile setting offer huge opportunities to be explored. The personality of our clients business bring their own guiding constraints too. 

Because when we talk about constraints, we're talking about what is important for a design solution should to be successful, whether that's simplicity, elegance, a type of personality, integration with another process or its ability to be delivered to a particular timescale.

We love constraints here, and we love understanding, exploring and responding to the opportunities they provide us.

Author: Jon Searle

What do you think?