Artisans as The New Innovators

People who make things are poised to benefit from the continued rise of big data. As algorithms and the data scientists that bring them to life become more abundant, we will crave and value more physical goods and experiences from new creative minds that can deliver them.

I expect a return of craftsmanship at all levels and a stronger pivot towards all things creative. Think of more storytelling, powerful visual narratives, artistry in design and craft. This creates new opportunities for brands to build a premium experience around how things get made.

 Brunello Cucinelli's new form of luxury built around timeless craftsmanship.

Brunello Cucinelli's new form of luxury built around timeless craftsmanship.

 

Innovation's New Challenge : It Won't Work If You Can't Show By Hand 

A powerful example is Detroit’s home-grown luxury brand Shinola, which takes inspiration from the city’s storied manufacturing past and makes it new with its rustic, grown-up hipster friendly aesthetic.

Italian comfort luxury icon Brunello Cucinelli, fully cognizant of the premium power of craftsmanship, along with the limited supply of artisans, has opened a school of craftsmanship, to nurture and usher the next generation of makers for this lifestyle brand.

 Shinola building a new iconic brand around all-American manufacturing.

Shinola building a new iconic brand around all-American manufacturing.

Making things is the future. We see nutritional innovation and creative fodder in tickling the brain through the hands. Expect more activities at both the amateur (a la current coloring book fad, painting, pottery) and professional level around the arts, crafts and design.

Stemming from this craving of physicality, I also expect a smarter and happier deployment of a physical lens to address multiple types of challenges and opportunities, from product design to experiences that elevate key life spaces such as education, work, play, etc. Physically shaping prototypes for products and experiences will bring forth a higher level of empathy and connectivity, key ingredients to build ultimate product relevancy.

The rise of craftsmanship should also refresh our educational cannon, hopefully bringing a bit of old school crafts to the classroom as well as truly committed investment in the arts.

I'm convinced that our world would be a much better, inspiring and productive place if we all could do more with our hands than just text.

Here's to building things.