Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Is your thinking really creative?

When people say they are creative or that they believe in creative thinking, what exactly are they talking about? Where is this creativity supposed to be?

There are many artists, sculptors, poets etc who produce material that is claimed to be creative. The reality is that they are not creative at all. Consider the artist who throws paint at a canvas to produce an abstract picture. The artist is more often than not trying to confuse or shock the public and in some cases use a form of intellectual snobbery. The next time they paint they may very well use the same technique - where is the creativity in that? This is even more relevant to the topic of design.

Today I read a very interesting article on the BBC website about the building of new fleet of nuclear submarines for the British Navy. My curiosity was aroused when there was a mention of Psychologists attending board meetings and so I read on.

A submarine is a large horizontal metal tube so think how hard it must be to install all of the heavy equipment and machinery. Not so here. The solution? Build the hull in sections but upright and then lower in the equipment with a simple crane. Next rotate the sections so that they are horizontal and then join them. It saves a huge amount of money and time and reduces risk.

Now who is the creative, the artist or designer who uses the same techniques, or the submarine builder who is constantly looking for new ways of seeing problems and then solving them? You decide!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

it's taking the time to think or rather rethink an issue from a different perspective. We all take shortcuts or have filters to help us make sense of the world and is challenging these or forcing ourselves to step outside of these which give us the potential to be creative. I see creativity being about turning off the filter tabs and looking at the raw morass of information, images, data then seeing what jumps out. We all that the moon each night but not everyone sees around the white shape -- some see a face, a deeply etched coin, who knows? The options of limitless and that is the opposite of how we train ourselves, albeit unconsciously, within the workplace where we like to keep to simple, straightforward routines so we can rapidly sift through the daily tidal wave of information that greets us via e-mail!

I think it's time we renamed e-mail EVANESCENT mail.