How do professional creators work today, and what are the best research and analysis methods for understanding various processes of creation?
Professional Creation– in architecture, film, and industrial design – presents itself as a collective and collaborative endeavor. Creative work lies within a broader “ecosystem” of stakeholders, collaborators, and technical tools.
Through this project, we mapped Creator ecosystems, and provided detailed documentation of Creator workflows, as well as insights on the future of hybrid and distributed creation.
This study is a methodological experiment on how we might use ethnographic research methods to capture granular, concrete data.
We studied 4 SMBs in creative industries, interviewing internal teams on how they collaborate. Additionally, we conducted a three-day diary study to provide hyper-specific data on technical specifications, creator software, and day-in-the-life practices.
The Key Insight
Each Creator Ecosystem is made up of a central “Heart” and three arteries of work: individual, collaborative, and logistical. The Heart – usually a server, a VPN network, or a cluster of hard drives – maintains a healthy functioning ecosystem, so Creators can complete their individual, collaborative, and logistical tasks within a given project.
Key insights on hybrid and distributed creation
Mappings of Creator Ecosystems
A visualization of the workflows which ties together three types of work and ties in significant “war stories” (key challenges).
An appendix deck with a compilation of granular data for each Creator detailing device setup, workflow habits and ideal visions