Death of Originality

Creatives are under pressure to continually innovate due to the emergence of fast design. Is this creating a complacency and reliance on imitation rather than innovation? Not entirely.

Why is there a constant demand for original design?

  • Earth’s population increased by almost 2 billion in just 20 years.
  • Humans are better connected through social media and the internet. We see more and we know more at a much faster speed and therefore crave more.
  • A demand to simplify our lives through minimal, functional and engaging design.


We see a similar pattern & demand in other creative based industries such as fashion, industrial design and soon in architecture.


Original craft still prevails in an era of recreation and simulated brush strokes. In the early 2010’s, we saw letterpress and calligraphy resurface, along with a comeback of film photography and darkroom development. Although nostalgia and throwbacks in design is a great technique, it’s important to balance it with innovation. Design needs to be relevant to the world we live in.


Imitation is still the base of innovation, but when we simply rely on replicating without a twist of originality, we are left with no progress and limitations to new discoveries. When old crafts merge with new ideas, the familiar begins to take on new forms and evolution occurs freely. Every era has recycled old concepts and improved on them – that is how we evolve as humans.

Letterpress Design
Photography darkroom

Challenges are thrown at creatives; this influx drives them to abandon their own input. The challenges ease the process in a competitive market, and therefore make it less reliant on innovation but rather on replication.


The Loudest Bunch Rule.

The current climate dictates that the loudest majority rules. However for many designers, having to cater to the demands of the masses makes it difficult to cancel out the noise and fight the compulsion to conform.


Pressuring Industries.

Industries have to constantly adapt when facing challenges. For instance, with fashion we saw higher end designers adopt a more urban aesthetic to reach a broader demographic in order to survive. Every industry does the same – they either adapt to the world around them or get archived in history.



The ease of technology can often be reductive to originality and encourage complacency. This can be seen in early stages of 3D printed and modular homes, which gave us a glimpse of what the future entails for architects. From one simple CAD render one can replicate the same design over and over within a simple tap of a button, ultimately reducing individuality while encouraging one vision with design.

Robot Design
Minimal white design

When there’s new technology, there’s room for new design, but at times the industry gets complacent and reliant on replication rather than innovation. Many factors drift creatives towards imitation: an appreciation for the old ways, the pressure to create universal design for the masses, ease of access to information and the many improvements in technology. In order to find balance between the familiar and the new, one must focus their energy on both techniques of replication and innovation with relevance to the world we live in.



Nathan Viranian 

Human / Designer / Artist



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