Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Creativity and play

The 30 circle test reminds me a little of when I did figures in my Drawing I class in college. We first did several drawings of our instructor with only 30 seconds per pose. Then we did a few drawing with a minute per pose. The last two poses for 5 and 10 minutes, respectively. What the exercise did was force us to just draw what we saw, without pausing to edit. Obviously, we only got basic forms at first. But this carried on to the longer drawings and I have to admit that I did much better drawing of human than I had in any other art class before. So, getting past the self-critiques (and external critiques) for a period of time does more than increase creativity, it also improves skills. Creative writing works much better if you wait to edit until after you've written the story. Starting to edit in the midst of creating will deaden the creativity and stunt the work. Editting happens after the creative period, no matter what you are working on. Or in Tim Brown's terms, the convergence period happens after the divergence period.

This next talk is also by a Brown - Stuart Brown:

It amazes me how much we have weeded out adult playfulness in the past couple of centuries. My son did a report of historical children's games last year and we were both surprised to find old books full of adult-too games. In fact, it was hard to find written resources of children-only games before the 1900s. A side-effect of the Industrial Revolution, I suspect.

Both videos underscore the need for kinistetic activity in problem solving. Though I didn't use it in my capstone, I did find a study on how swinging one's arms helps one to solve problems with a swinging element, while researching how the right and left brain function cognitively.

Back to the talk - while the meeting suits are fun, I can imagine all sort of sexual harrassment potential. But I can't deny that it is creative.

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