Creativity vs. research

In presenting design as a codified, predictable, and mandatory process—making it more digestible for executives educated in traditional management theories—designers risk losing their ability to do such forward-looking research. They have enjoyed being epitomized as the quintessential creative people. But creativity has little in common with research. Creativity entails the fast generation of numerous ideas (the more, the better); research requires relentless exploration of one vision (the deeper and more robust, the better). Creativity often values a neophyte perspective; research values knowledge and scholarship. Creativity builds variety and divergence; research challenges an existing paradigm with a specific vision around which to converge. Creativity is culturally neutral, as long as it helps solve problems; research on meanings is intrinsically visionary and built on the researcher’s personal culture. In attempting to mimic the language of business, design seems to have followed the pattern noted among executives: it values methods more than designers’ personal culture, thus losing the capability to harness this precious asset.

Design-driven Innovation – Roberto Verganti

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