"IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AN APPLE PIE FROM SCRATCH, YOU MUST FIRST CREATE THE UNIVERSE."
- CARL SAGAN
Carl Sagan may have been talking on an atomic level with this quote, speaking of the origins of the Universe in the Big Bang...but this quote has profound meaning to the design community as well. The art and design world is obsessed with creativity, originality, and plagiarism. While it is important to always be striving for new and better solutions to our design problems, it is also important to understand nothing is completely original.
Unless you created the universe, you cannot claim to be completely original. Everything designed today is inspired by something designed yesterday (by something designed by nature). By understanding and accepting this, we can ignore the obsession with attempting to design out of thin air (which is impossible), and instead focus on learning from the hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of years of design evolution. An evolution that has been going on since that Big Bang.