scottish institute of enterprise

Why Scotland needs creative graduates

I was invited to write an article for Scottish Institute for Enterprise's biannual magazine " Ignite"  - focusing on the creative industry sector and covering opportunities emerging for graduates.

The economic and environmental crisis is deepening and it is seems the time is now to reinvent and redesign many aspects of our lives.
Politicians cry out for the redesign of society, and push businesses to innovate their way out of this double dip recession. This readiness to embrace change - even radical change - coupled with advances in science and technology, is unearthing a new breed of designers.
Designers who are a force for good and tackling wicked, social problems rather than fuelling consumers consuming. The most important and vital tool these designers have is the attitude and desire to re-think things so we can make an even more profound difference. 
This area of design is rapidly growing and does not have a name that has stuck ‘Social design’ ‘service design’ and ‘social innovation’ are among the winners but these words are losing credibility at a time when they are needed most. At Snook we humbly admit that these words and approaches are nothing new – what’s new is how it’s implemented and pulled together. 
“Designers have a more holistic world view, and context has a higher priority. The most important contribution we make is in creating concrete solutions. Designers are taught to create. When designers go from problem to solution they are indispensable” Lauren Currie
Just as Britain produced engineers to forge the Industrial Revolution, the information revolution is being – at least partly – driven by designers. I can’t think of many skills that will be more useful in the coming years than a mastery of prototyping, digital tools and the presentation of ideas and complex information across all media. 
Working from their studio in Glasgow, Snook was founded in 2009 by Lauren Currie and Sarah Drummond who embarked up on their career as product designers, and continue to trailblaze service design for the public sector in Scotland. They now employ 8 people on site and work with their international network, The Snook Ensemble, made up of ex-civil servants, film makers, social workers, sociologists and several designers. The theory is that their combined skills and an interdisciplinary approach will produce more potent and sensitive solutions to complex social problems.
A design education – even a basic one – equips you with many of the skills that will prove invaluable in a conceptual and information-based, digitally rooted global culture. Use your analytically trained brains and empathy as observers of the human experience o work in business, health and government. 
Design is a way of solving problems. There are problems to solve in every facet of our society so creative graduates we need you – and lots of you. 

Thanks for the opportunity SIE - follow SIE here.