How Original¿ - Research

In a world where everything has been done before, how do we as creatives relate to the concept of originality? To many, producing something original seems inseparable from success. We are being portrayed as pioneers. but at the same time, it is often said that everything is a remix and there is nothing new under the sun. This contradiction can be very discouraging.

This project aims to provide a different perspective on originality – everything already exists and we are all creative, right?

Within the academy, the classrooms are clean, white, boring, non-art school, but the toilets are famous for their graffiti, and endless conversations that cover the doors and when those doors are full, they will go onto the tiles on the walls, floors, and even the ceiling. It’s one of the few places where captured in a vulnerable space, we feel free to express ourselves without any boundaries. All the rest, and even the toilets eventually, will experience some sort of censorship. If it’s not by the brief of a project, it’s by the pressure of performance or the rules of HR. This is why I chose to put posters in the toilet stalls to capture unfiltered opinions.

By asking the questions: “Do you feel the urge to be original?” & “How do you relate to originality?” I wanted to start a conversation, which happened; people felt free to write down their opinions, and some even commented on other people’s entries. These answers were at the beginning of my research, a confirmation for me that others are dealing with the same struggles, but they were also input for me to visualize these comments.

Through an analysis of artist’s and designers’ practices, as well as historical and contemporary definitions of originality, the research seeks to alleviate the pressure starting designers are facing and offer new insights. The goal is not to tell other designers how to be original, but to provide insight into how we’re actually bothering ourselves by focusing so hard n the originality part in our creative process. The reader is invited to have their own search of what originality means – by exploring the book.
In the space of ‘How Original¿’ people are invited to come and explore what originality means to them. ‘Can I strive to design something original?’ is the starting point for the project, but also a question to the visitor.