The Virtual Spark to Unleashing Creativity
By Alexandra Del Solar, Kendall Veenema and Viktoriya Yen
As a designer, have you ever stopped and wished that you could not just visualize, but actually experience the research and imagination processes during concept development? Wouldn’t it be great if the Holodeck from Star Trek was real? If conference room 4 was actually a simulated reality research facility?
We’re not trying to create a Sci-Fi world, but stop for a moment to imagine the level of heightened design you could achieve if a virtual experience room like this existed. You could truly experience the colors and textures of Morocco, the bustling streets of Tokyo or the sensations of Thai water markets to enhance and inspire work that is usually achieved only from real-life perspectives. As discussed in this previous catalyst article, alternative thinking to break the paradigms of traditional concept development is a long explored topic. Companies continuously strive for a common goal to unleash higher levels of creativity in the workplace, as seen in this hongkiat.com blog article. After all, the formula isn’t a secret: greater employee creativity unleashes innovation and productivity, which contributes to competitive industry advantage and the bottom line.
The ability to experience things first hand has always given people the empathy needed to comprehend a situation foreign to their own. As a designer, mindfulness, authenticity and empathy are the trifecta toolbox for developing a concept consumers are receptive to. This is something that journalist Nonny de la Peña has been exploring with her Immersive Journalism project. She wants to share the news with people by giving them the opportunity to enter a virtually recreated scenario of the news story. In this virtual scene, the participant can engage with the story as themselves or through the perspective of a character depicted in the news. This method of delivery allows viewers unprecedented access to the sights, sounds, and possibly the emotions of the real life situation.
Rapid technological advancements in the past few decades have granted an incredible advancement to the design world and the creatives who make it turn. Why not take it a step further? Why not turn conference room 4 into a virtual research facility? Think of the broader perspectives, open mindedness and global connectedness that could be achieved in the world if people were able to understand and experience things first hand that they normally wouldn’t have access to. What are some things you would create? What type of inspiration would you ask for next? For us, it would go something like this: “Computer, run program Everest…”
About the Authors:
The authors are all accomplished professionals and current program participants entering their second year in Pratt’s Design Management, MPS:
Alexandra Del Solar – Mechanical Engineer
Meiyu Huang – Finance
Kendall Veenema – Photo Producer/Brand Strategist
Viktoriya Yen – Finance