This paper draws on three very different fields of practice - 3D design, writing, and computer programming – to demonstrate an underlying commonality between disciplines as regards how practitioners work, and their relationships with the medium they work in, on or through. Based on an analytical review of selected literature from these disciplines, and the author's own interviews with 3D design practitioners, it proposes that differences exist between individual practitioners which are more significant than variation arising from each designer's personal style, unique experience, or working context; rather they represent wholly different approaches to design, elements of which relate to the nature and extent of a dialogue between practitioner and medium. This paper concludes that while elements of these differences in approach can broadly be mapped to a formal/concrete axis, the differences may result from a more complex set of relationships between an individual's orientation towards practice (goals/discovery), their preferred style of organising work (preplanned/emergent), mode of engagement (top-down/bottom-up), the way they relate to the medium (close/distant), the role of the medium in their practice (a means to an end/an end in itself), and their mode of thinking (formal & abstract/intuitive & concrete). This cross-disciplinary examination of differences in approach indicates important aspects of working and knowing that are not embedded in the material context of practice, which should be acknowledged by theory, and could be harnessed practically in the development of future digital environments for creative practice.
|Keywords:||Cross-Disciplinary, Individual Difference, Design Practice, Formal/Concrete Axis, Design Approach, Digital Environments for Creative Practice|
Research Development Group, Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art, UK
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