Flow: an exploration of the mindsets and behaviours of designers in their creative ecosystem


  • Raul Sarrot




Flow, Creative Process, Mindsets, Behaviours, Design


How Designers transcend the barriers to creativity to achieve an ideal state of flow during their creative process? Tracing parallels between Design education and industry-based practice, Flow is an article that explores the mindsets and behaviours of Designers in their ecosystems and the challenges surrounding them. The exploratory journey advanced in the manuscript is based on foundational art essays blended with different points of view from traditional designers and Positive Psychology concepts. Aditionally, it builds on the author’s previous research developed on Flow and aimed to challenge paradigms and contrast core design principles and philosophies. Its purpose is to better understand what are the tensions between the different creative processes like the individual spark of creativity, the playful serendipity, the inventor’s light bulb, the apprentice master craftsmanship model and other contemporary methodologies such as Design Thinking and Agile. Nevertheless, it inspect how all of these approaches relates to the context of the designers’ ecosystem and the challenges they face when designing. As a piece of research, Flow does not offer final crystalised answers or solutions yet instead poses critical questions and offers an open dialogue with diverse points of view.


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Author Biography

Raul Sarrot

Is a multidisciplinary designer, strategist, researcher, design thinking coach and senior lecturer that specialises in delivering game-changing design programmes in all areas, from high-level strategies to brand creation and storytelling. Raul’s international trajectory has been forged over 27 years working alongside a wide range of individuals and enterprises in Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe. Raul is the founder and director of Freshfish, a boutique design innovation studio specialised in strategy, branding and communications and also is a Senior Lecturer at AUT (Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand) and a guest lecturer at other universities around the world.


Csíkszentmihályi, M. (2008). Flow. The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Frankl, V.E. (1971). The Will To Meaning: Foundations And Applications Of Logotherapy. Souvenir Press.

Kolko, J. (2018). The Divisiveness of Design Thinking. Interactions Magazine, XXV.3, May-June. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3194313

Restany, P., (1998). Hundertwasser: The Painter-king with the 5 Skins: the Power of Art. Taschen.

Sarrot, R. (2020). Flow. What are the barriers creatives find during the design process? Interviews with Designers. Unpublished manuscript.

Thomson, R. (1959). The Psychology of Thinking. Pelican A453




How to Cite

Sarrot, R. (2021). Flow: an exploration of the mindsets and behaviours of designers in their creative ecosystem. DAT Journal, 6(2), 443–452. https://doi.org/10.29147/dat.v6i2.415