Winter 2008

I have nothing to declare but my networking skills

Creative genius’ is so last millennium. What design students want – and need – is skill in collaborative online technology

The history of design is replete with narratives exalting the position of the individual ‘creative genius’. The myth of the lone artist who has midnight ‘A-ha!’ moments while working in his atelier is as prevalent in the culture at large as it is in art and design schools. Designers understand the history of their profession, for the most part, through images and narratives of iconic ‘objects and projects’ and the ‘pioneering design heroes’ who create them.

Such scenarios privilege the artefact – and the techno-formal issues in making it – over the contexts in which design is created, disseminated and interpreted within the culture. Yet current research into learning and creativity backs up Henry Jenkins’ argument that this ‘falsifies the actual process by which meaning is generated and new works produced’ …

Deborah Littlejohn, design fellow, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, US

Read the full version in Eye no. 70 vol. 18, 2008

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.