By Tomasz Wojcik
Do humans dream of electric circuits?
I was recently musing over a comparison between creative advertising and creative technology. Turns out both have many things in common apart from the obvious “creative” tag. Problem is that you would usually associate advertising with the creative process but you would not get that with technology. Why is that so? Is technology a behemoth people consider to be linked with computing systems, mechanics, engineering, basically sciences detached from emotional content and entertainment and as we know it? It may be that we grew with technology that achieved a status of a pragmatic function in our daily lives and that’s exactly how we cognitively process its role in the society. Laptops, IT systems, Internet, or even automated traffic lights are there for a reason but not directly creative in their function. The role of the creative process is to disturb, to make a fuss, to get noticed and acknowledged as something fresh and exciting, sometimes practical, or at its ultimate goal to make the world a better place. Whereas the technology is usually perceived creative in the lab where a prototype is being developed. When implemented in the real life is being taken for granted, a passive idea that exists for the benefit of all but with little room for tinkering around it. The obvious obstacle for majority of people to get creative with tech is the very complexity in its root. You need knowledge and understanding of science to be creative where an idea born of abstract concept is much more approachable.
So how can we start thinking of technology as something “easy to use” creative?
For starters, you can argue that all the S-Fi books you’ve read or heard of use technology that exists or is presumed to exist in the future are creative. Same goes for movies. A boom of S-Fi movie genre in 1990-2000 served as a pre-millennium tension that anticipated the arrival of omnipotent technology destined to take hold of our lives. Irrespective of the nature of those imaginary creations – whether they come true or not – they were made to disrupt our perception of status quo, change our behaviour, scare us or excite us with the creative vision of the future to come.
Nowadays, many of the predictions regarding technology came true – Internet, personal computing, online networking. World seems a global village. All made possible with the advancement of science that is here to serve the mankind.
The next logical step is to create a simple user experience when interacting with technology. And it’s all been done already. Just look how easy it is now to learn your way around a smartphone, start using Internet or dabbling in tech projects with simple electronics and coding so that people who are not educated in tech can go on using it in order to produce variety of creative work.
Does it not sound simple enough? What is missing then? I daresay only the right attitude.
Technology is not what you would call directly creative but becomes a vessel that triggers creativity. There’s just a matter of getting rid of the stagnant mind-set label of the past that says tech’s main role is to function as ordained for the comfort, better time management and automation of that mundane part of our lives. Just think of Augmented Reality, Microsoft Kinetic and most of all Virtual Reality that will change the way we look at the world and how we experience it. The creative technology’s role is to “disrupt” the way people interact with computers today and re-engage us with the new and alluring. The key word is the digital content. Creative process in the few years to come will be intertwined with the software development and will create new ways to immerse ourselves in the digital world of entertainment, education and business. It shall become a digital manifestation of our analogue interaction between imagination and function. It is the new definition of a creative process. The next step. This should give you an idea that the tech infused creative possibilities are more endless now than ever before. Almost certainly becoming easy to use for everyone.