Vox Pop

The year 2000 has been a time for merger deals rather than great design work. How can we turn the tables and boost creativity in 2001?

‘The added pressures associated with mergers and acquisitions muddy designers’ objectives, the business being increasingly dominated by people who have little sympathy for the industry. In my opinion, the maintenance of a financially successful and highly creative business relies on building a set of rules to suit creative people and processes, versus the use of business models taken from other industries on the acquisition trail.’

John McConnell, Partner, Pentagram

‘The rash of recent mergers and re-orientations could well be a signal of new growth and vigour on its way, rather than a loss of focus in the industry. Creativity comes from taking the client with you into new territories, in our experience. Working on the way design burrows successfully into the client’s inner structure is one way to achieve higher hit rates.’

Richard Seymour, Partner, Seymour Powell

‘My pious hope is that designers will remember that their creativity can improve the quality of life for everybody who is touched by it, and a pleasure in creativity is surely the reason they are designers in the first place. Rarely do amalgams of designers into bigger and bigger companies increase design creativity, but they certainly create bureaucracy, which often stifles the creative spark. I should know.’

Terence Conran, Chairman, Conran & Partners

‘First, by not assuming that big business is necessarily a barrier to creativity. Second, by remembering that creativity stems from understanding a client’s specific business problem and not an industry-generic problem. Third, by creating an environment where creativity and risk is celebrated. And fourth, by investing in creativity via training, rather than assuming that nature can do it all.’

Aziz Cami, Managing Partner, The Partners

‘I am not sure whether I understand or agree with the question. There has been a lot of good design this year.’

Rasshied Din, Managing Director, Din Associates

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