11 December 2012

Authenticity, the theme for POINT London

by Tim Fendley, Conference director

The opening year theme to POINT London is Authenticity and what it means to be Authentic. With more than forty presentations, POINT’s speakers will take delegates on a journey investigating their work, concepts, ideas, and in some cases challenge the audience and its notions of what it is to be real, trustworthy and original.

Why Authenticity?
Authenticity transcends the moral compass and is an important ethical quality. If it could be sold in bottles demand could exceed supply. And that’s why we settled in the idea of Authenticity as our first year theme. We think that the authentic is as important today as it has ever been.

Over the next weeks you’ll read some different ideas on what it is to be Authentic, some from speakers and others from commentators and delegates. I thought I’d get the ball rolling with some thoughts on the subject.

Authentic legitimacy…
The concept of Authenticity has long stimulated people from all walks of life. Designers often deal with clients striving to emphasise the legitimacy of their ideas by being ‘real’. People, brands, services and products strive to be authentic and valuable in society through ideas, policies, communication and behaviour.

Authentic trust…
The idea of authenticity underpins many business ideas but formulaic approaches to creativity lead people to question what’s behind the messages and see tensions in the way corporate messages are communicated. What is genuine? What is trustworthy? What is true? Authenticity underpins the way people perceive and use products, systems and services. Authentic ideas survive, things that are not trustworthy fail.

Authentic dependable…
Robust design solutions empower positive experiences. The authenticity of the design process provides a trustworthy platform for creative flair and brilliance to invent worlds of fantasy and daring.

Authentic original…
For some, Authenticity sums up an approach to design, a way of being and a route to create solutions lacking in clutter. To be authentic is to be pure – a world where less is better. Design produces classic pieces that are presented as originals or ‘authentics’ over time, from Barcelona chairs to iPhones, the purity in design and function has fascinated designers and commentators alike.

Feel free to comment on what you think Authenticity means to you. We’re posting definitions of Authenticity on our POINT London Twitter stream @POINTLondon. Also watch out for our Authenticity competition where we’ll be giving tickets as prizes for the most compelling definitions of Authenticity as selected by our panel.