Creativity in the time of corona
This adaptation also happens with brands, which in most cases take ownership of the situation, changing their line of communication or even their core business to better address the problem. However, this approach to the problem has raised many criticisms for being considered opportunistic given the harmful performance of certain brands towards their employees. It is not new that in times of crisis our capacity for reinvention is put to test and, as in the past, we will struggle to overcome it but ultimately emerge stronger.
As far as consumers go, and because of their confinement, there is a huge change in behavior, and they are being impacted almost exclusively by digital means such as social media and television. It is natural that this will result in an increase of transactions of goods without human contact, through the growth of e-commerce or even the proliferation of robotized commercial establishments.
Amazon Go – Store without employees
Wheelys Moby Mart is a mobile, unmanned grocery store tested in 2018 in Shanghai
However, especially regarding consumer goods and considering the sustainability factor and even the renewed interest in the origins of the products, small establishments will be forced to update themselves to better respond to their growing demand. This is happening because most of the people are teleworking and assisting their families at home, therefore, resorting almost exclusively to local commerce, accentuating the idea of “bairrismo”.
Design, in all its strands, seeks to respond creatively to human problems. This response, in addition to being based on the binomial, form-function must always have an underlying sensory and emotional character. In product design, my highlight goes to Piaggio, who, in a very tough post-World War II context in Italy, abandoned the manufacture of aeronautical material and decided to enter the massive vehicle industry (cheap utility vehicles) and designed the still worldwide loved Vespa. More recently, also in Italy, the company Isinnova has transformed snorkeling masks into ventilators for patients, thus using creativity as a tool.
There are countless examples of how design has changed people’s lives and evolved with its history. One of the cases that I highlight, is of a revolutionary bottle to say the least, by the Heineken brand. When visiting Curaçao during the 60’s, the beer industry mogul, Alfred Heineken was shocked by the amount of beer bottles scattered on the beach and the miserable housing level conditions due to the scarcity of affordable building materials. In response to both problems, Heineken hired a Dutch architect to design a beer bottle that would also serve as a glass brick.
According to product design guru Dieter Rams, good design will have to be innovative, useful, striking, sustainable, simple and honest. It is this honesty that today is asked of brands. In our forced confinement we are obliged to analyze what is essential and what touches us, since we cannot touch. Whatever the area of design, emotion and sensory must be present as they are imperatives that attribute the value of things.
When we design an environment, an exhibition stand, an event or activation, however technological it may be, it needs to connect emotionally to the consumer. The most successful projects are those that mark people at the level of emotions.
Creativity in the time of corona.
So, and without predictions of what will result from the situation in which we live today, I venture to say that we will feel and touch again, interact and be impacted again. I believe that other ways of working, such as online events, may be the answer to certain projects, but nothing will replace the impact of being physically present and feeling the effect of creativity in our own skin again.
Read the latest article – Brainstorming – written by Margarida Monteiro, Graphic Designer at Multilem.