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Environments for Creativity

The authors argue that creativity is something achievable through practice and experience. Through these experiences, knowledge of the materials – affordances and constraints – is gained and insight into creative products is exposed. I argue that creativity is not something simply attainable through practice. There are other variables involved that are not referred to by the authors – the most mentionable being personality and randomness. A key factor in what defines *someone* as creative is their personality – not an in depth understanding of their domain. People think differently which, as we’ve been told since kindergarten, is what makes us unique. Consider a class of 20 students graduating from an MFA program. If you asked them whether they rank their peers’ creativity, I’ll predict that they respond with “frequently.” This is a relatively controlled environment – these students have spent countless hours practicing within their domain, learning their materials, and gaining valuable experience in thinking differently. Why then, would one be considered more creative than the other? Because she stayed up 1 hour later than her peers sketching? No. It’s because she is fundamentally different.

The Creators’ Patterns

This article was interesting but certainly not to be taken as truth; as indicated by the author when discussing the limitations of the generalization of these seven “case studies.” Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if more instances of his assumptions are found in more examples of the lives of creative individuals. Having a curiosity for their particular domain at an early age seems like a reasonably safe assumption as does having a drive for probing exhaustively into that domain. I found this to be a light and thought-provoking article and inspection into what correlates we can find with creative and influential individuals.

Design Protocol Data and Novel Design Decisions

The authors bring attention to the hundreds of design decisions made by the team  while only about ten were used to provide “something exceptional in the design.” My question is regarding the correlation of failure and creativity. As Gardner mentioned, creative people go through difficult times. Is someone defined as a creative revolutionary only once they’ve prevailed through hundreds or thousands of failures? If so, what is the correlation between randomness and creativity? At some point in everyone’s live, I’m sure they are told that they are “creative;” is this just something random that happens to all of us? Is creativity something that can be fostered at all? Can someone be consistently creative?

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