Unlikely combinations What are crossovers, exactly? This is the third book that shows examples of unique collaborative projects between the creative industries and other key economic sectors. Designers are masters of collaborative thinking, unconventional thinking or offering a healthy dose of scepticism. They can anticipate change and help to achieve it. Above all, whether it concerns a product, service, process or a complex whole, designers have the ability to find solutions that are functional and visually appealing, as well as sustainable.
Innovation arises at the edges of familiar practices and surprising discoveries are often the result of new combinations. The creative industries, named one of the key sectors by the Dutch government, cannot compete in terms of scale with other leading sectors like water management, energy, agriculture or life sciences. But that is precisely the point. The creative industries don’t operate in splendid isolation, but exist to add value to what is happening in other sectors. This can lead to games that help save lives, houses that make dependence tolerable, smart toilets for developing areas and jeans made from reclaimed plastic.
Remarkably, with nearly all the case studies mentioned in this book, the client and the service provider do not have a classic hierarchical relationship, but operate as equals. They are not opposed to the unknown or unpredictable, but embrace the importance of research and experimentation. In these instances, either the clients have dared to give the designers the space and trust to do their work, or the designers have taken the initiative before even being approached by the client. This behaviour fits wonderfully into the social movement we are seeing all around us: from vertical to horizontal, from centralised to decentralised, from top-down to bottom-up.
The essays in the publication are an encore to the case studies and explore even bigger issues. How can creativity and design thinking contribute to consciousness and sustainability? What are the latest developments in wearables? How can we deal with the elements and anticipate natural disasters? They are all challenges that cry out for a crossover mentality.
We hope that Crossover Works 3 is once again a showcase of ideas that persuades and tempts clients, executives and other relevant industry players.
Madeleine van Lennep,
Director of the Association of Dutch Designers (bno)