I’m a teenager hoping to become a designer ( although i may go into architecture). Whenever i have an idea, i’m always worried about whether i’m copying something i’ve seen, i often am sub-conciously. Also, it seems like tons of the really great ideas have allready been used a thousand times. So how d’you keep other peoples work out of your own, and how d’you make the product truly innovative. Thanks allot

Designers are typically engaged to solve a particular problem. The specificity of the problem domain dramatically reduces the chance that you’re copying another design (example: design an infusion pump.) The more general the category, the more likely you’re treading in others footprints (example: design a car.)

As a non-professional, you’re not constrained by problems, therefore you’re re-inventing the proverbial wheel.

My advice: start with a problem. Spend some time thinking about different people and roles–what products do they interact with on a daily basis, and are there unfulfilled needs? Or, pick a product, and think about how that product succeeds or fails the needs of different people.

That’s where you innovate.

Hi munchkinmann.

cg has steered you in the correct direction. As a teenager, look around in your own world at things that don’t work well: at home, at school, at play, in between any of those, are your parents, brother/sister yelling and complaining about something not working. Start thinking about a way to make it work. Innovation isn’t about making something better, it solves the problem in a new, unforeseen way. Often to do this, designers borrow ideas they’ve seen somewhere else and use them for other purposes.

If you’re finishing school soon, look at the ID programs at OCAD and Humber, they’re both pretty good.

Anoter Torontonian, sweet. I dunno where i’ll be, i might have moved somewhere ( possibly switzerland). My dad’s job contract runs out before i finish highschool (i’m in grade 9) so i dunno. I used to livevin California, sorta sad because California is a big center for things like design and especially innovation so…
Is there a big market in Toronto for ID. It seems more like a Vancouver thing, west coast people and such. Right now the school i’m at (the York School, Younge and St. Claire) isn’t very design or even arts oriented. Because its fairly small they dont have allot of classes, just regular art.