Why do we need creative technologist? Here is a nice read on how creative contextual application of technology can have profound impact on our society.
So, while you may hear a lot about this role / profile esp. in agency context –
what really makes a creative technologist?
Creative technologist has to solve for specific problems – commerce, marketing, service, product – a need, a behavioral change or what have you. So a creative technologist would need to really operate in the context of an overall solution.
It is important to operate from the position of an expert – expertise could be the domain expertise, knowledge of ecosystem (device or channel) or social context.
Creative use of technology is as relevant as the understanding of inner beauty of a product/service connect with the consumer – how does the consumer feel while using your product or a service and technology just becomes a medium to make that happen. So the context and understanding of experience becomes really important for a creative technologist.
and finally, as new technologies emerge – there would be an opportunity to build new ideas into reality. So a creative technologist of today needs to be a maker – someone who can bring digital-physical together, can build new products that may or may not have any precedence.
Steve jobs is probably the greatest creative technologist that the world has seen – he understood consumers and solved for the unforeseen needs using technology with UX at the center of all his products.
There are a bunch of organization focused on building new profiles, promoting hybrid talents. Although there are different views on developing this sort of mindset – the agenda and outcome is probably similar i.e. to solve for complex problems with a new hybrid point of view. MIT media lab is one of the first one on my list where technologist, biologist, architects, environmentalists (and many other disciplines) are trying to solve real human problems using technology – it probably is the most advanced culture to groom such a hybrid talent. On the other hand agencies like wieden+kennedy have developed their processes in such a way that technology and creative work on everything together – in fact they have gone a step further and have decided to do away with domains.
I believe that next set of challenges would require a new set of skills and new kind of solutions. These ideas and solutions for a more complex modern world will come from hybrid talent – creative technologist is right at the center of it because it directly deals with Human Experience and Technology.