Richard Watson has touched on one of the great conundrums we all face every day (Private View, DW 23 August).
What we have to understand, when it comes to working with clients, is that words like “instinct” and “intuition” scare the shit out of most brand managers and marketing directors. Is any self-respecting company man going to hang millions of pounds of investment on a designer’s hunch? All designers play their hunches. That’s what design is – a feeling that one idea is going to work better than another.
But intuition isn’t, in our book, an indefensible position. Our definition of intuition is that part of a colossal, experience-based, subconscious process which protrudes into the conscious mind. In every other part of our existence, our brain has to make extremely quick decisions, which it bases on past experience, reflex and new information, which it then offers up as a solution. Design works just like that. How many times have you taken a brief and known what the solution is as the words leave the client’s mouth? Even after working through the alternatives, that first brief flash often turns out to be the right one. The better the designer, the better his or her instinct tends to be… we just have to find the right way to express this to the client.
Issigonis didn’t know that the Mini would be a success, and no amount of research would have predicted its long-term vigour in the market. He just felt it, and had the guts to push it through. This takes a lot of courage.
All the great designs of our time needed a leap of faith at least some time in their development. Trust your intuition, and have the faith to stand by it. That way, things change. Trust the force.