Hothouse talk. Craig Oldman.

The Funniest guy we’ve had!
Today we had guest speaker Craig Oldman who began his talk on Good design. Oldman spoke of how it was hard to nail down what was good design, you’ve got to nail down what you think is good. The term ‘good’ is really subjective. You must define creativity and understand what you value as good design and why. Then you’ll know what it takes to achieve it. I thought this was a lovely point, because I feel that as I come to the end of course, I feel there is this emphasis on a a complete consideration to every aspect of design. I agree with this only to a certain extent, sometimes too much consideration becomes over design. Anyone can think creatively but as designers this is like an athletes muscle, trained more intensely than the average thinker. He talks of the industry snobbery, and how tuning into this can lead you to miss out on spontaneous creativity. Oldman clearly has a love for the type of random creativity you’ll find on the streets, in toilets, something random your parents have made or did. Design with empathy, this term he used a lot and this is probably one of the most valuable points to our studio of Empathy & Enterprise.
Without something to say and the courage to say it, not even the best design can save you. His presentation showed numerous images of riots and picket lines back in the 80’s. What Craig shows is his obvious passion for this stereotyped Lofi design and creativity by the average day man or woman picketing a factory or Protesting against new policies. He talks how these people “have got something to fucking say and they’re gonna fucking say it”. He appears very much in favour of traditional designing than the new age of sitting behind a Mac and picking a typeface for a poster. This is the first designer I felt had a real opinion on design which is that if you have something to say, then have the courage to say it and not become a design snob. As the current industry of design is so heavily diluted with technical and digital methods, I believe there is this type of snobbery surrounding design. Sometimes the best design is done by mistake and by hand, the spilling of paint, leaning in some ink, smudging or tearing paper. None of this by the click of a mouse. Oldman commented on being switched on to the world and not just seeing things and walking away but analysing creative decisions and asking questions. Information is everywhere but knowledge is applied. He thinks the most valuable skill is empathy. Experience lets you to gain insight, and this in turn makes you a more in depth designer and creative thinker. One of Oldmans projects book was a compilation of the posters and photography taken during the miners strike during the 80’s.
He ended his talk by saying to use your creativity to say what you want to say. If have your own beliefs and convictions and you’re prepared to work incredibly hard, then you can and will make work that really resonates with you.


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