How to develop your own approach/style in a systematic way?

I always wondered how pioneering artists came to their invention.
Do they extrapolate from history, do they… ?
There should be more than just luck…
The difficulty is; what does “more” consist of?

Any tips to find this out?

I can recommend the book “Myths of Innovation” Has a lot of information about how successful innovations come into existence. Basically hard work, and passion, and knowing what will work and what won’t. No systemization about it.[/b]

another good innovation story book is ‘Brainstorms and Thunderbolts How Creative Genius Works’ by Carol Madigan

I am convinced that it involves more than brainstorming and thunderbolts.
If we would research the origins of most art/design movements, then we’ll find parallel facts for sure. (top-down)
Or you could define approach/style and subdivide it until you find something original. (bottom-up)
I was just hoping that someone had done this research before…

Anyway; What would be the best resource to do the top-down research?
Wikipedia, an other source?

This sounds interesting. [Top-down] vs. [bottom-up] Probably, there might be no one who says one is better than the other all the time. I think it might be more interesting when top-down approach is more appropriate than the bottom-up approach, and vice versa.

Bottom is the general definition of approach/style, top are the specific approaches/styles…

What do you mean with the above?

Oh, you seem to use bottom and top in the opposite way from how decisioin-making researchers tend to use.

In the literature on decision making, the top-down is considered as the thinking pattern starting from a kind of stereotype, whereas the bottom-up is the thinking pattern starting from a kind of available, individual data. In other words, “top” is what people generally assume and “bottom” is what people learn.

Given that the starting point is generally stronger than the end point (we refer to this phenomenon as anchoring & adjustment: adjustment is insufficient to modify anchoring), I conjecture that the “top-down” approach is more like a no-research approach (e.g., [Top: I assume that people generally prefer round over square shape.] + [Down: Surprisingly, my client prefers square over round shape]) and the “bottom-up” approach is more like a heavy-research approach (e.g., [Bottom: Client A prefers square over round, client B prefers square over round, client C prefers round over square…etc.] + [Up: Given that 2 out of 3 clients prefer square over round shape, I conclude that square shape is more likely to be preferred over round shape])

The reason why I think this is interesting is that the answer will vary depending on which approach designers use. Suppose that people generally prefer round over square shape. “Top-down” designers will discount specific cases (client A and client B) and design a round-shape product. However, “bottom-up” designers will use specific cases (client A and client B) and design a square-shape product.

I believe which approach is more likely to be used and benefits more depends on people (individual characteristics) and situations (design task, industry, etc.).

Top_Down= Taking existing and making new (a new type of cell phone better or different than its predecessors)
Bottom_Up= Making original from scratch, no existing references, etc. (inventing the telephone when one never existed)

If you’re seeking inspiration for your designs by following trends and altering them, check out TrendRoll-
It’s a user-generated directory that hooks you up with the best trendblogs to spot trends and inspirations in all genres- fashion, design, lifestyle, eco, tech, business / web
Of course, design is always influenced by current events and world issues and mainstream fads-think of all the new ideas coming out that were inspired by eco concerns, or how design has influenced technology (or vice versa?)
Anyways, Hope you find it useful, would love to hear your feedback

If you want someone to have done the research for you read the book I recommended earlier (Myths of Innovation) it’s all about that. How are innovations made? What’s the secret (it’s not really a secret) It talks about process, how to find ideas and make them into innovaions. But I have to say systematically, there’s no way to create innovation. It’s a lot of failing, and little bit of winning big.

develop your own point of view on life and problem solving that should help you develop your own “philosophy” you can apply to design. IMO this helps designers be original, people are attracted to originality and passion.

My 2 cents…

I don’t really see the opposition… I also think the choice between both is usually dictated by the allowed timescale, bottom-up will always be better but takes a lot longer.

Altering trends is one of the options indeed. I find it hard to give feedback on a list though.
Most important things for me are completeness and subdivision, which seem to be ok.