Is Art the new Business? | PDD

Is Art the new Business?


on February 27 2013

At PDD we were all wowed by the artistry of the Olympics opening ceremony, and marvel at the Manet exhibition currently running at the Royal Academy of Arts – as well as admiring good product design. Hands up those of us who have chosen to buy something, not through necessity or on the basis of cold logic, but because the item exuded style and connected with us emotionally (perhaps in product terms the likes of Apple and Bang & Olufsen exploit this to best advantage)!

The UK has, of course, a rich cultural heritage and a strong latent capability. The creative and cultural sector contributes some 6% of the national GDP making it second only to the financial sector, as the UK’s biggest industry. In fact, according to recent reports from the European Commission as well as the CBI, the Creative Industries are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, outstripping some of the traditional sources of export income.

Image credit: Cimota, featured image credit:
Bang& Olufsen

To understand more of what can be made of the interplay of artistry and industry, I recently spent time at The University of London’s Centre for Creative Collaboration near King’s Cross, run by my friend and former colleague Dr Brian Condon. Brian explained not only how C4CC ( had incubated 16 start-up companies, but also shared some thinking on how to use the ‘social web’ and creative processes in the development of new business ideas.
Influential British designer and Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design – Sir Jonathan Ive. Image credit: TheDonutProject 

Unlike business, the arts thrive on chaos and rather than trying to create something at lowest cost, create something from nothing. With few areas of technology leadership, headlines murmuring triple-dip recession and manufacturing industry stalling, is the opportunity now to better harness the UK’s creative talents? After all, Apple’s products and many of Bang & Olufsen’s winning designs, have been created by Brits (Sir Jonathan Ive and the late David Lewis)!