Breaking From a Crowd In a Sea of Sameness
Where do you go to be inspired, to boost your creativity and stand out from the crowd? A lot of kitchen and bath designers may research trends on Houzz, Pinterest, or other design-oriented social media. When you rely on social media sites for new ideas and creative breakthroughs, you are not alone. Many of your competitors do exactly the same thing and are most likely to achieve remarkably similar results, which does not serve to improve creativity or stand out from the crowd. In other words, if everyone uses similar inputs to create ideas, how can you ensure that your designs will be different?
Maggie Mustaklem is a former fashion designer who moved to England and enrolled in a doctoral program at Oxford University’s Internet Institute. She is working with designers to help them better understand how social media algorithms influence design. Mustaklem found that social media sites such as Pinterest can be a valuable resource. However, she notes that the images on Pinterest are fed to users in a vacuum whereas an identical image in a book, magazine or even at an event such as the BKBG Conference, would be grounded in context. Mustaklem encourages designers to ask what they are not seeing when looking at online images.
Mustaklem also encourages kitchen and bath designers seeking inspiration to think about the different parts that are needed for your project. These could be materials, appliances, a specific genre or time period and to refine your search criteria to make it more focused and specific. Additionally, she advises not to be 100% dependent on the Internet. Find inspiration in books, magazines, retail shops, restaurants, and other places that you experience daily.