This article was published on: 5/3/2011

On talking about his ‘man-cave’ Guillermo del Toro talks about why his immense collection of curious possessions are important to him:

“Everything in the house for me has equal importance whether it’s a rubber toy or an anatomical model, whatever it is, it’s here to try and provoke sort of a shock to the system and get circulating the lifeblood of imagination, which I think is curiosity. When we lose curiosity I think we lose, entirely, inventiveness.”

After seeing his awesome house it got me thinking more about curiosity and creativity.

The delight of investigation is crucial in design. Exploring a concept and finding unopened doors is a skill which as you get older can become harder to find. Today is my birthday, so today of all days I am ever more acutely aware of the lengthening pursuit back to the magical outlook of childhood. But without curiosity the designer’s will to investigate can only diminish. A childlike view of the world is as integral to your success as your professional adult persona. It is only through curiosity where true value can be found.

Through exploring the odd and the peculiar we can escape from mediocrity. So seek out and surround yourself with those who see the world differently, their company will pay dividends many times over. As Del Toro alluded to, imagination feeds off curiosity. An inspiring design can only come from a designer prepared to be daring. Be unafraid to venture into the unknown and come back with something people have never seen or experienced before. Fight back against those who try to pull you back to safety and have the guts to explore where others fear to tread.

Curiosity lies at the very heart of human nature, so if you’re not knocking on that door then why bother? Ask yourself, are you offering anything new? Does your design excite and raise curiosity? Are you creating a need to explore or indeed easing the fear of exploring? You should aim to constantly be both creating curiosity and rewarding it. You must provide the joy of discovery.

It is through experiencing that which is new and odd to you that your brain can really flex its creative muscles. By trying to understand something never seen before, it will generate new insights, unique thoughts and synaptic sparks that the muse inside of you will revel in. Your enemy is the mundane, the well trodden path and the insidious voice inside your head that tells you to conform. Don’t do it. People will see value in the fruits of your curiosity and thank you for engaging theirs.

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