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The New Creatives
B.A.Sp Industrial Design
Université de Montreal
M.A. Certificate Interaction Design
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
First UK distributor of the Arduino
an open source electronics education platform
Strategy, research and community building for
companies interested in the internet of things
Founder of the Good Night Lamp, connected
lamps for your global family.
Invisible & complex creative business practices.
How they lead to innovation but not scale.
Why they are like unicorns (not in the investment sense).
What you can learn from them.
A design education
was never enough
In the last 10 years I’ve learnt about
Supply chain design
Cash flow management
Most crafts businesses are too small to identify in business
survey data, so while there has been a crafts section in the
former classification, we’ve not been able to provide GVA data.
We believe that many crafts workers are very clearly in creative
occupations. However, in the official classifications, many of
these workers are spread across a range of occupational and
industrial codes […]. To include these codes would not give an
accurate value to the crafts sector, so we are looking at better
ways to measure this contribution.
When design is about
The work of New Creatives is
A mix of art
Characteristics of New Creatives
Learn new skills constantly
Learnt how to code so they could work faster
or already knew how to code
Have done work as an artist or as a freelancer
Work on ‘side projects’ all the time
Document their process thoroughly
Transparent about collaborations
Work in micro SME formats
Are always a limited company
Don’t know how to describe their work to others
Terrible portfolio websites with photos of electronics on them
or no photos at all
They are often hiding in the
early stages or years of interesting
projects and even more interesting
Tom Armitage, Creative technologist
Katie London, Creative technologist
Botanicalls (still on sale now)
They start memes that stick.
They understand the internet and
digital culture in a deep way, not as a
a shop window for images.
Former CTO of Dopplr
Coined ‘Silicon Roundabout’
Former CEO of Bergcloud / Berg
Formerly of Schulze & Webb
Responsible for the UK government’s use
of ‘Tech City’
Publisher, Artist, Creative technologist
Coined ‘New Aesthetic’
strong local communities with global ties.
Your practice is never complete
there are always other people you
could be working with, other ways to
work, things to learn how to master and
engage with. You are always an
apprentice, you can never be a master.
Know your digital culture, it’s history
and create within it. Blogging and
social media are not an option.
Your practice is also about sharing
process with others, letting others
learn from you. When IP is hard to
secure, your process is gold.
Anyway authorship doesn’t matter.
Most of the time the clients take the credit
so you might as well do something new.
Consumer culture devalues everything.
Think about how your work lives on
and becomes something people put in
museums rather than on shelves at John
Work with small clients (or small teams in a
large corp) on small engagements.
The work will always be more interesting
and you’ll want to get it done more
efficiently. If you have to take a job, take
one for a couple of years, then move on.
Become an extreme collaborator.
Recognise other people’s talent as an
opportunity for collaboration instead of a
You will not learn this in a design school
design is changing and eventually
education will too.
Don’t worry about awards or press.
The reward for a prosperous career should
always be what’s in your bank account and
what your peers say about you.
Good luck. @iotwatch firstname.lastname@example.org
Near Future Laboratory
Aaron Straup Cope