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Posted in 05.Creativity and Design on February 10, 2010 by Supraja

Arguments for: “Design Protocol Data and Novel Design”
-It was interesting that novel design decisions are often tightly associated with drawings.   In case of design that is not traditionally classified as product development, I have primarily thought of drawing as a technique for preliminary brainstorming, or for communicating ideas to other group members.  However this article showcases the of drawing itself as a powerful means for generating new ideas that may be applicable to various creative activities.

Arguments against: “The Creators’ Patterns”
-I did appreciate Gardner’s argument that creative individuals often strive to retain childlike spirit.  However I wanted to learn more about  how childlike traits such as silliness or stubborness lead to behaviors that promote creativity.
-Also, though I may have missed it, I do not recall him mentioning “play” or “fun.”
-Gardner says, “From my vantage point, the changes that took place in Europe around the turn of the century represent an extreme in the challenging of given assumptions about life, work , progress, and value …” While I certainly do not deny the iconoclastic impact of the creators he chose, the statement seems Eurocentric.
-Moreover, Gandhi must have been impacted by India and South Africa, T. S. Eliot by the United States, etc.

Questions: “Environments for Creativity, a Lab for Making Things in Creativity and Cognition
-Is there a way to trade off the benefits of the designer taking ownership of their design, versus designing it so much for themselves that they neglect the domain users?  How can domain users join an interdisciplinary team in the design process?
-With respect to education, how can making things be integrated into disciplines that generally disregard these activities? How can we persuade the skeptics?

Constraints & Abstraction

Posted in 02.Design and the Play Instinct on January 23, 2010 by Supraja
  • I was struck by Rand’s claim that constraints can promote creative expression rather than inhibit it.
  • In his Tangrams example, he argues that while the pieces themselves are limited by simple geometry, they can encourage a student to think abstractly about what each shape can represent.  For example, in the image posted by Karen MacKay, Daniele Lago imagines the triangle as a person’s foot.
  • However one of our classmates observed that while constraints may inspire beginners, experts may find them obstructing instead.
  • Rand alludes to this as well.   He suggests that once a student has mastered the basic principles of a discipline, she can decide when to twist the rules or dismiss constraints.  Maybe in some cases, an artist’s deep understanding of what constitutes tradition can help him break from it.