Creative trends that will dominate 2024
PA Consulting’s Cormac Ó Conaire shares his view on how generative AI might influence the design process in 2024 in an article by Benjamin Hirons in Creativepool.
The human will return to the Generative AI design process
Generative AI (GenAI) will amplify our abilities, not replace them. Throughout history, industrial revolutions have consistently stirred trepidation – from the uprisings against textile machines in the 18th century to the skepticism around the internet in the 1990s. Yes, AI and machines will replace human jobs.
But as technology evolves, our role on this planet evolves with it. GenAI has huge potential in augmenting human capabilities, empowering us to work faster and become more creative. GenAI need not be our replacement; rather, it serves as our amplification. The focus on GenAI’s abilities often overlooks the fact that its potential is unlocked by human ingenuity.
Meaningful design is determined by people. Design, at its core, addresses complex problems that hold relevance and meaning for people. What dictates if something is meaningful? GenAI’s ability to produce output that is authentic and purposeful is a decision ultimately made by people.
In this context, a designer’s oversight – embracing creative direction, decision-making, intuition, and authenticity – is more pertinent than ever. As we enter 2024, and GenAI updates continue to amaze us, the significance of these human qualities will also come to the fore. Remarkable designers have always acted as curators of meaningful stories.
Consider Jony Ive’s unwavering vision for the iPhone, Alexander McQueen’s fusion of boundless imagination with exceptional technical skill to bring his ideas to reality, and Zaha Hadid’s architectural marvels. While GenAI may sharpen our insight and liberate us from the constraints of our imaginations, its success will prove elusive unless we infuse it with purpose.
Video gaming will start to influence the healthcare sector/future surgery
There are parallels between gamers and surgeons. Gamers and surgeons may seem worlds apart, but they share important traits – precision, accuracy, visual-spatial skills, and a knack for being fully absorbed in what they’re doing. With the gaming market estimated to hit over $600 billion by 2030, investment is fuelling new innovations in bleeding-edge, highly immersive control experiences.
Led by the growth of eSports, the focus on bringing even more precision and accuracy to competitive gaming controls is paramount. This involves maximising in-game efficiency while minimising the risk of mistake – a direct parallel with the healthcare industry and surgical operations.
Surgeons will increasingly need to control robotic devices. Robotic surgery steps in to address the challenges faced by human surgeons, but it introduces a whole new dynamic to the control experience for surgeons.
Managing robotic devices demands prolonged screen focus, precise control, and unconventional postures. To ensure surgeons stay deeply engaged in the evolving field of surgery, the healthcare sector will start to draw insights from the world of video gaming.
Designing for ‘sensory engagement’. One effective way to enhance immersion is by designing for the senses. At PA, we call this ‘sensory engagement.’ While most people are familiar with the common five senses, humans have anywhere between 10-33 senses, depending on the classification.
Creating experiences that tap into these senses can lead to quicker intuition, improved accuracy, and the ability for surgeons to use complex devices without needing to glance at the controls. This year witnessed the rise of video games to train healthcare professionals in various medical disciplines. I see this trend going far beyond surgical devices and influencing all kinds of gamified healthcare experiences in 2024.
Healthcare takes design for sustainability seriously
Current challenges with embedding sustainability in healthcare. Reimagining how we sustainably design, produce, utilise, and dispose of products and services is imperative. A recent report shows that healthcare’s climate footprint is 4.4% of the global total. If it were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter on the planet.
Yet designing for sustainability in healthcare proves inherently challenging. Achieving positive outcomes, such as reducing infections, currently often comes at the expense of negative side effects, like increased waste. This dilemma paints medical waste as an unfortunate but seemingly unavoidable consequence of improved treatment. In prioritising patient well-being and efficacy, the question arises: where does sustainability fit in?
2024 marks a turning point for sustainability in healthcare. 70% of healthcare’s carbon emissions fall under ‘Scope 3,’ meaning they are indirect and outside the direct control of the sector, residing in their supply chain and off-site waste treatment. In response to this, governing bodies and healthcare institutions are imposing penalties on companies failing to comply with net-zero goals.
The NHS is signalling that, by as early as 2027, it will no longer do business with non-compliant supply chain partners unless they demonstrate environmental impact reductions. To substantiate their claims, manufacturers will need to conduct bottom-up assessments that quantify the emissions arising from their medical products and therapies – called Life Cycle Assessments.
Simultaneously, a groundswell of people advocating for change is emerging, exemplified by initiatives like the Green Diabetics Initiative, dedicated to reducing diabetes device waste. With global regulatory pressures and rising compliance costs, as well as these consumer demands, 2024 marks a turning point for the healthcare industry. We will see the industry embracing new, optimistic approaches to sustainable innovation and design for sustainability in the year ahead.