5 ways to prepare for the future of the design industry

The Designers Republic

Stay ahead of the industry curve with the help of The Designers Republic

How can creative directors, designers and art directors ready themselves for the next 20 years of change in the industry? What practical tips or movements, such as biophilic design, can they learn from? We chat to Matt Pyke, Ian Anderson, David Bailey and Nick Bax of The Designers Republic and get their expert tips.

01. Keep spotting new talent

Matt Pyke: "Look at the next generation, who have grown up with technology. If you can't beat them, join them. Embrace new graduates and really make the most of their uninhibited, fresh way of thinking."

02. Look in unexpected places

David Bailey: "Look in unexpected places, too – at people you wouldn't consider to be designers. They live in a more 'design-y' world, and could have ideas that you can harness and craft into something. There can be hidden gems in all walks of life."

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An overview of the industry requires constant learning

03. You have to learn everything

Nick Bax: "We'll carry on with what we've been doing, which is being drawn to things that appeal to us. As new things happen, certain things resonate and you want to find out more. But you don't have to be good at everything; you don't have to be able to do everything. Have an overview of what's happening, but just go for what you love and what interests you."

04. Give yourself space

Matt Pyke: "One thing I've been planning for – just to make sure I stay alive for the next 20 years – is to give myself space. I find myself being more creative the less I actually think about a project, because I keep that helicopter view of it. Don't pride yourself on doing all-nighters for the rest of your life. there are smarter ways to manage your time. Recently I've been delegating a bit more, but I'm getting far more done productively and creatively because I'm focusing on the essentials."

05. Don't plan too far ahead

Ian Anderson: "I've spent most of my life trying to not know what's going to happen. To have to wake up every day knowing what's going to happen in 20 years' time and just sit around waiting for it seems to be the most uncreative thing I could do. I like to be amazed and astounded by things."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 250.

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