In the 1972 short film, Design Q&A, Charles Eames expresses his own (really a universal) design philosophy in answer to the question, “Qu’est ce que le design? (What is Design? )” an exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais de Louvre. Speaking on whether he had ever been forced to compromise his values and aesthetics in response to a client’s demands or requirements, Charles answers that he had not. Rather, he had “willingly accepted constraints.” It was a philosophy that would place him, with collaborator Ray Eames, among the most important 20th century designers.
The iconic status of their work today illustrates the truth of that answer. Constraints, Charles explained, are “one of the few effective keys to the design problem . . . the constraints of price, of size, of strength, balance, of surface, of time, etc.; each problem has its own peculiar list.” Creativity arises from “the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible–his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints.”
But constraints like price and time are today only a few of the constraints within which creativity must work. There are complex legal and business constraints of copyright, trademark, advertising, and privacy laws, of contract obligations and liabilities, financial regulations, and of negotiation with vastly more powerful creative and entertainment industry players. Willingness and enthusiasm may not be enough.
Inspiration Spaceship’s mission is to guide creators safely through and beyond such constraints. Not to eliminate constraints, but to elevate creatives. Empower them with the ability to have the greatest possible control over whatever constraints may exist in their particular discipline. And increase understanding of the constraints that may remain so they become another tool for art, design, and creative expression.
We do not willingly accept constraints until we work hard to make them align with our clients’ interests.