A few weeks back at the FEI11 conference, I helped setup the Lego exhibit. After unloading boxes and boxes of Legos, I dove into contributing the first of many user-generated, or in this case, conference attendee-generated, creations that would grace the exhibit. As I thought about what to construct, I decided it might be nice to welcome folks to Boston by building the skyline. After constructing the John Hancock Tower, the “Boston Legal” building, the Prudential building, and a “Bridge to the Future” with a divergent and convergent staircase, I started on the waterfront. I added water details including Read more
Being able to speak a different language helps spark creativity by providing access to more people and more cultures. This leads to greater understanding, a more open mind, and greater empathy – all great building blocks for drawing creative inspiration.
Although I live my life in an English-speaking world, sometimes when I dream about my grandparents, I dream in Chinese. Growing up, I spent a great deal of time living with my grandparents and speaking Chinese. Now that I’m older and do not speak Chinese as much, I feel most comfortable with the language in my dreams. While dreaming, I carry on lengthy conversations with my grandparents. Upon waking and walking through a play-by-play of the conversations, I am always surprised by how much of the language I still remember.
This is a follow-up post to an article I wrote a few weeks back titled, Creativity: Sensing Gaps and Imagining Possibilities. In the article I hypothesized about how a person’s mind could recognize a gap in a situation and fill in, or imagine, the possibilities. I used examples from my early work experience to shed light on how the mind might work.
In listening to an NPR story on an early morning commute, I was surprised to learn of scientific proof backing the sensing of gaps and imagining possibilities. In the segment Mindreading: Technology Turns Thought into Action the NPR team interviewed researchers who found, “Whether it’s musical phrases or strings of words or scenery we look at, our brains are always filling in missing information.”
Is creativity about nature or nurture? Turns out, creativity can be attributed to both nature and nurture. While we are born with unique ways of being creative, that doesn’t mean we are stuck with what we inherit. Studies on the brain and neuroplasticity suggest we are able to rewire our brains based on the experiences we have. By adding different experiences, we can create a rich stockpile of artifacts to draw creative inspirations, connections and ideas. Want to learn more about the brain’s role in creativity? Take a look at this short presentation titled, Creativity and the Brain.
From time to time I like to test out new creativity techniques on my kids before I use them with clients. It is a great way to work out any kinks, as well as, a great source of entertainment and learning for the kids. I find if I am able to explain how to increase the quantity and quality of ideas by using a creativity technique with a preschooler, then it is easy enough for an adult.
A little while back I began thinking about learning styles and how each of us has a preferred method for interacting with and processing information. In thinking about visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners (those who learn by physical activity), I worked to devise a creativity technique that tapped into a variety of learning styles.