Reflection on how to enhance creativity (Recycled Orchestra)
The speaker put together a Mobius strip in order to visualize the conceptual components of creativity. For each component of the strip there are certain steps one can take in order to enhance their creativity.
I definitely agree with the inner circle of components, which consists of a person’s imagination, knowledge and attitude. The first step she indicated is imagination. How you ask a question determines the manner in which you will come up with an answer. This is very true and may also explain why the educational system in Egypt does not foster creativity. Children are asked to memorize, simply reciting learned facts. The questions on an exam have one right answer, which is a method that absolutely kills the child’s potential to expand and build on their imagination. The second step looks at the way we connect and combine things and ideas. This also is a very useful factor that stimulates creativity. Great historical inventions were made applying this simple technique. The concept of a wheel for example had existed for a long time in different forms and was used more for assistance in the household. But it wasn’t until someone thought of actually attaching a wheel to a cart that a genius creative idea of an effectively moving vehicle came to life. This shows how creativity oftentimes relies simply on how we connect and combine things that seem unlikely to fit together. The third step she mentioned was that of challenging assumptions. This concept is also of vital importance as it helps us find better alternatives to solutions we think we already have. It asks important questions like: ‘why does this have to be done in that certain way?’. This enables us to look beyond what we see in front of us and take for granted. In order to enhance the second component of the inner circle, namely knowledge, the speaker suggests that we pay attention. We oftentimes find greater depth and new ideas in our daily surroundings if we only pay attention. As for the step regarding your attitude, she suggested that we look beyond the first answer. This relates also to the point of challenging assumptions, mentioned earlier and is in my opinion very important.
I do, however, have my reservations about the outer circle that she mentioned: that of culture, habits and resources. Although at first glance it may seem absolutely logical that stimulating environments foster creativity, there are several exceptions to this suggestion. One of them is shown in this video. Those kids most certainly do not live in what we would call a stimulating environment that encourages creativity. However, those children displayed admirable creativity despite their depressing surroundings.
On a final note, it is very important to realize that creativity cannot and should not be limited to conceptualized frameworks. As the speaker herself indirectly mentioned, the reason why we fail to grasp the wholeness of the concept of creativity, what it entails and its origins is because we try to limit it into tangible, conceptualized boarders, when really creativity is the result of multiple interactions, infiltrating into the depths of your own knowledge, imagination and attitude as well as encompassing your culture, resources and the culture that surrounds you.