The lack of something is the sign of its arrival. The recognition of this void brings us the knowledge of its absence.Â And the seekers and curious beings we are, we begin to look for it.
We human beings are probably wired to constantly find or create such voids. But then we are also known to have egos which force us to present ourselves as omniscient beings.
For those of you who ever watched the BBC comedy â€œGoodness Gracious Meâ€ there was this character who would reply to anything with â€œI knew thatâ€. Thatâ€™s the case with the most of us, isnâ€™t it? The lack of knowledge is such a big taboo that we try hard to hide it.
To learn anything new, one has to start from the recognising its absence, going on to seeking it and then acquiring it. Our social system blocks us out right at the first stage. â€œI donâ€™t knowâ€ is a phrase to be avoided and eventually a thought that is erased from our minds.
A design process is aimed at solving a problem and finding an answer you do not know as yet. If you did, then it wouldâ€™ve happened. You start form an â€œI donâ€™t knowâ€ phase, listing down things you do not know and need to know more about. As you go along with finding them, you discover more things you didnâ€™t know about. It is a constant process of learning through the knowledge of its absence. And during this process the ambiguity of the problem fades away and a solution emerges.
Doing a pitch for a project means skipping this very important state of learning and unlearning and giving solutions based on false assumptions. It is being untrue to the ultimate aim of finding a good contextual solution to the problem.
While understanding the lifestyle of people, we might often overlook the small details of their lifestyle to look for opportunities. Customised services and products are preferred in India at almost all social strata of the society. It’s not just the rich who can ask for customised vehicles or hire a famous fashion designer to create an ensemble. The little pleasures of getting things tailor-made as per one’s requirements makes one feel special and value the experience more. Often Indians see better value for money in certain customised offerings, more than mass-produced ones.
Today morning, I noticed two people sitting outside my apartment gate, weaving together brooms for people. It was the first time I had seen something like this. Normally, brooms would not be a topic that would be listed under the usual household product-customisation needs, but seeing the response they were getting, it seemed like they had found a very unique niche.Â Cost-saving, not enough options in the market, value-for money, the satisfaction of getting a quality product made by supervising the production process, unique household needs could be some of the reasons why some households would prefer using their services.
Cost-effective trendiness is another factor that leads the youngsters to the tailors to get custom-made shirts. Latest trends in the market were either very expensive or didn’t fit well as everyone had different physiques. Also, people considered that a tailor would spend more thought and effort on the clothes and thus it would last longer.
In the interiors of India, nobody might know about concept of mass-customisation, but they practice it very well nonetheless. When serving tea in the interiors of Gujarat, they also pour a little extra on the saucer. As the tea is pipinig hot when served and people on the go do not have time to wait, the tea on the saucer cools down quickly and by the time it is devoured, the tea in the cup is ready to be sipped.
The little service innovations that are brought about do not always have to be heavy on the pocket. The best things in life, if not free, can be affordable!
Creativity has definitely a lot to do with exposure and the awareness of endless opportunities. Knowing that there are more than one right answers, and answers that might exist somewhere but not in one’s sphere of reality or awareness.
A recent article published by the Economist states high correlation between one’s stay outside one’s native country and creativity. It also speaks about better negotiation skills of bilingual people.
Considering these factors and India, the relevance of this research seems somehow vague. Being bilingual is pretty natural for most Indians, atleast in the urban areas. Further, with such vast numbers of cultures, languages, customs and geography, each region in India seems like a new country. Would all this mean this makes Indians who live away from their hometown, are more creative? Or are we better at negotiations?
Also, it would be important to consider a country like the United Arab Emirates, where only 19% of the population consists of Emiratis (natives of the country) and the rest are all expatriates. With such a large expat population, the country rarely is talked about for it’s creativity.
We consider kids as creative. Most of them have never lived outside their domestic boundaries.They are creative because of their imagination and free-thinking.Â Travel and stay abroad might give you these qualities, but it certainly depends on the individual and the system around you.