WHAT? SO WHAT?
I’m planning to host a workshop to communicate my free-form crochet grammar effectively. I want to see how this generative form of design will be taken by the crochet community and hopefully inform them of a new creative process. Since free-form crochet is, by nature, an intuitive form of crochet and one that beginners tend not to get in to, I figured that it’d be a good starting point in designing a framework to follow and then later break to foster inventiveness. The grammar has a healthy bit of determinism and indeterminism in order to give the crocheter the space to invent, and possibly input their own creative process in a new way.
To relate this to the field of design, particularly product design, we designers are burdened with the need to be creative and inventive in what we do. Often, “new” products are not truly novel, and may only add features to existing products without changing the whole dynamic or concept. We are in need of innovative and inventive solutions, otherwise, we’ll remain stagnant. Generative Design can help designers awake their inner inventor. Although it has rules to follow (and inevitably, many will only design according to these rules), there will always be at least one designer who will break them and perhaps invent something not previously conceived.
3rd PARTY COMMUNIQUE – WHAT? SO WHAT?
INVENT (v) – to create or design (something that has not existed before)
Think of the products you use or see on a regular basis. Think of processes. How many of them, would you say, are inventions? True inventions? Something that cannot be paralleled by anything that came before it, maybe even something revolutionary. I’m contending that the answer is “very few”; modern product designers are actually redesigning things more than inventing new designs. Of course, redesign is necessary as we update our technology and as our sociopolitical structures evolve, but there should also be space for invention. Design informs the world of art, science, and engineering in one way or another, and if we can get designers to invent, these new discoveries will affect these other fields, taking new paths we didn’t think about before.
Now, invention doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s rare to have constant “Eureka!” moments. So I’m proposing that we give designers a framework that can generate multiple different designs. It would be like a computer; you choose your inputs and the order/placement of those inputs, and a final design spits out. It may be novel, it may have been done before. But either way, once those final designs are out, the designer has something to invent on, maybe even change entirely.
I want to test out this theory of invention within a framework using free-form crochet, a fiber art form based on intuition and community. Just as designers, free-form crocheters have their own creative process. And beginner crocheters tend to shy away from more free-form work. If this framework can augment the process of experienced crocheters and bring about creativity in the beginners, I think it can bring invention into the design world as well.
(I feel like I said the same thing in the same way in both. I’m not sure if I got the layperson-speak down yet).