Why We Create

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May 6, 2010
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Why We Create

Have you ever heard the phrase...“if you aren't moving forward you are going backward"? Have you ever decided you were just too busy to clean the dishes, and then made that decision again the next day and then next? A mess piles up. Have you ever had a day where you might sit inside, somewhat tired and think the world is passing by?

In each of these cases, you choose not to create. Your decision yields to entropy, where systems naturally decay and lose organization. Entropy is a powerful force. The further the entropic force is left to decay, the harder it is to bring things back to where they were and it's ever more difficult to improve the situation or system. The situation feels bleak in a hurry.

One afternoon I had a Twitter conversation with @DanielGerous, the fictional Twitter front-man for Gangplank in Phoenix. Dan was stirring the pot that evening with an ode to entropy. 

Entropy rules all -Daniel Gerous via Twitter

What a depressing notion. Why are we here? To decay and die? No. Humans are designed with feelings, desires, passions, abilities and thoughts that lead to actions. We are here to live, learn, grow and give. We are here to create.

Creation trumps entropy. Consider a desert without water. Once water comes to a desert creation begins. The soil becomes wet, plant life begins to grow, this attracts animals and they begin to eat. Consider a community with broken windows and the newly repaired windows that create pride and stability in a community. The act of creation or using the forces of creation can reverse entropy's pull and uplift.

As designers, our nature is to create. We solve problems. We create systems that organize chaos. What can we choose to repair today? Where do we see entropy? What can we seek out to create and trump forces of decay and destruction? 

Ward Andrews

Ward Andrews

Hi, I'm Ward Andrews. I started Design.org in 2009, you can read about why here. Thanks for participating in the Design.org Community. I also run an interactive agency called Drawbackwards. I love basketball, electronic music and creating experiences that improve daily life. You can follow me on Twitter @wardandrews.

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