The Importance of Partnerships05/02/2017
We tend to romanticize the mythology of the solo creative genius. We imagine someone like Beethoven or Leonardo DaVinci laboring in solitude, alone with their inspiration and their art.
But Beethoven was supported by an influential patron, who himself was an accomplished musician. And DaVinci was a polymath, who drew upon the output of other artists, scientists and mathematicians and overlaid his own thinking to create new concepts and artworks.
Humanity’s greatest achievements have happened when people — two or two thousand — worked together.
In issue 12 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly, Mohawk celebrates the partnerships that underpin notable projects today — and that helped bring life to influential work in our past.
You’ll see within this issue that partnerships can arise among colleagues who bring different expertise and points of view to a job. This multidisciplinary approach works best when a project doesn’t pass from one pair of hands to another, down the line, but rather when everyone comes together in collaboration.
Partnerships can nurture, providing the time, space and funding for artists to pursue their work. Just as Beethoven enjoyed support from a wealthy backer, creatives in our era benefit from similar relationships, and both patron and artist are richer for their connection.
They can even be adversarial. Individuals or companies competing in the same space can push each other to develop bolder ideas and radical improvements that have lasting influence on products and consumers.
Even the most well-conceived partnerships, though, don’t guarantee success. Gathering a group of people increases the ideas, expertise and hands available for a project, but more doesn’t automatically translate to better. We have to work at working together.
We need to open ourselves to unexpected input, learn from each other and accept help. Too, we should view supporting players in our business as partners. When we recognize that these partners are experts in their own sphere and elevate those relationships from vendor-client to co-creator, we likewise elevate the potential of the outcome.
Whether it’s accidental or intentional, adversarial or collegial, partnership allows us to produce work that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s a whole lot more fun, too.
Issue 12 of the Mohawk Maker Quarterly will debut at HOW Design Live. Find out more about the publication here and make sure to stop by the Mohawk booth to get your copy.
Otto Hagel – Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
Hermon and Heroda -Peter Zelewski
Ugo Galassi -GUE
How Love Could Be – Tim Etchells – LED Sign 2014 -Image Credit Michael Kneffel
This content is made possible by Mohawk; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the HOW Design Live editorial team.