2020: The Next Creative Renaissance

Post by 
Five Eighty
January 25, 2019

The Rebirth is Upon Us

We’re on the brink of a whole new creative renaissance. 2020 will be the start of a decade fueled by creativity — but we aren’t just talking about the arts, rather we’re looking at it in a much broader (as defined by the dictionary) sense: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

How do we know this? Well, we can take a good guess about what’s going to happen tomorrow by looking back at what happened in the past. We’ll draw parallels between what ultimately caused the Italian Renaissance and how we’re experiencing the same causes now, just on a whole different level.

Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings
Javier Sánchez / Getty Images

History Repeating

Whether it was the Mona Lisa painting, sculpture of David, or the Sistine Chapel ceilings, chances are you’ll recall having to memorize some dates for some test in some school. What you probably don’t remember is what caused the Renaissance, or how it came to be.

Since we’re not here for a history lesson, we can oversimplify it like this — the Renaissance was a result of increased interaction between different cultures, artistic and technological innovations, and people’s desire to question their own beliefs. Now, let’s dive into what those look like today, and what they could mean tomorrow.

Increased interaction between different cultures — or, traveling and the internet

Let’s talk travel — getting from one part of the world to another has become easier, quicker, and cheaper than ever before, which has allowed for more blending between cultures. Take for example the story of how Apple applied its infamous “MagSafe” power adapters — as the story goes, one of Apple’s engineers was traveling to China and found himself in a restaurant kitchen talking with the owner. He noticed that the power adapters for their deep fryers were magnetic so that if someone tripped or something got caught on it, it would simply disconnect itself from the wall rather than pulling and tipping the fryer in a catastrophic accident.

Comparison between magnetic power cords.

Something that had been commonplace in eastern culture was then applied to high-tech computers in what was considered an innovative solution to an every-day problem. Sure, magnetic plugs didn’t revolutionize the world, but it’s an example of how increased interaction (in this case, simply spending more time in another part of the world) between two cultures lead to a creative solution.

Next up should be obvious — the Internet. Think about it, the internet — which we must remind everyone has only been widely accessible for less than 30 years — has made it possible to be connected on a global scale like never before. Interaction between different cultures happens daily through social media, video games, and web surfing just to name a few. We continue to discover and share new ideas, philosophies, findings and more, breaking down the barriers between cultures, increasing collaboration and inherently sparking creativity at an exponential rate.

The internet has disrupted the fundamentals of society, from the first real innovation in currency in hundreds of years with the creation of Bitcoin, to literally changing the chemical balances in our brains through the use of social media. Arguably the most influential advancement with more to come, the Internet will continue to be the primary fuel for the new creative renaissance.

Artistic and technological innovations — or, new mediums and ways to create.

For thousands of years, artistic mediums remained fairly the same — some sort of pigment applied to some type of canvas, carving a sculpture from wood or marble, shaping a bowl from clay… you get the picture. And this is exactly the type of art that drove the Renaissance. It wasn’t until the creation of the camera that we saw a new medium to explore and get creative in just over 200 years ago.

An example of augmented reality being used for an instruction manual
Augmented Reality Instruction Manual

But look at the landscape today — high performance digital video cameras are in most people’s pocket, giving us all the ability to be photographers and videographers. The development of virtual reality has opened a new medium to explore. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of augmented and mixed reality. Within the last decade alone we’ve uncovered some of these new mediums that allow us to be more creative and the rate at which these technologies are distributed is almost absurd.

We have yet to understand their limitations or true functionality — the possibilities are literally endless. Looking ahead, this new wave of technology will be another catalyst to the new creative renaissance.

People’s desire to question their own beliefs — or, modernizing society

If we go all the way back to the mid-1300’s, we can see how the Black Plague robbed so many people of their lives. We also learn how this brought them to question their religious beliefs and other aspects of life. Unfortunately, it had to come at the expense of millions of people, but this played a major role in progressive and innovative thinking as it caused people to question what they knew, not settling for what they were told.

Fast forward to today, and we live in an extremely dynamic world of thought — new religions, new beliefs, new ways of thinking. Society continues to grow in width, establishing more complex cultures that co-exist to move things forward. We continue to be more curious, questioning everything we come across, leading to the discovery of new medicines, new technologies, and having a more open mind about life in general. This mindset will propel the next creative renaissance to unimaginable places. We can’t move forward if we remain stuck in the past.

A recipe for rebirth

Increased interaction between cultures through accessible travel and distribution of the internet, artistic and technological innovations through the development of new mediums, and the desire to question what we know through new ways of thinking and philosophies will be what drives the new creative renaissance. The story has yet to be written, but if we can learn anything about tomorrow by looking back at yesterday, it seems like we’re in the midst of the perfect ingredients to spark the rebirth.

What do you think 2020 will bring?

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