Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on November 5th, 2003, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

Silent Silos

Creative business is still in the throes of piecing together fragments within their own industries — marketing communications disciplines; architecture with interior design; web and multimedia and broadcast. Specialization of once big, catch-all industries has led to fragmentation. This fragmentation is progress of an unpredictable nature and it will continue to make it harder and harder for traditionalists to make the pieces whole again in the same way that they once were. The best that can be done — and it really is an attractive alternative — is to informally merge these disciplines as they evolve and as they are needed. The connections are no longer mechanical but rather organic.

Beyond the relatively simple act of harmonizing an industry with its own disparate functions, however, there is the much more difficult but exhilarating opportunity to mix whole industries together too. As the creative industries themselves become more specialized a need will emerge to get them interacting as well. The problem with this, however, is that the walls guarding the industries from one another are even taller and thicker than the ones slowly isolating industry disciplines or fragments. As it is now, the communication that happens between such creative industries as industrial design, fashion, advertising, graphic design, architecture, and so on is pitiful. Brand, product and strategy ideas are hampered because of this because brand, product and strategy ideas rely on all of these industries, not just one. There is so much too be discovered here!

The walls between industries are pronounced because of legitimacy. Legitimacy is essentially the level of institutional standards and professional protocol built in to an industry; things such as accreditation, regulations and even unions. Only accredited accountants, for example, can do accounting. This accreditation is a very common form of standardization (specialism) that is created primarily to keep people out; people who are, supposedly, not capable of doing accounting. On the flip side, it also tends to lock people in. Many people go through life classified by their job description and believing that they are only able to do one particular thing. Change threatens such legitimacy devices and so it follows that the more legitimate an industry is the more averse it is to change — and by extension ideas from “the outside”. _S

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