In 1959, I worked as a scientist at Allied Research Associates in Boston. The company was an MIT spinoff that originally focused on the effects of nuclear weapons on aircraft structures. The company received a contract with the acronym GLIPAR (Guide Line Identification Program for Antimissile Research) from the Advanced Research Projects Agency to elicit the most creative approaches possible for a ballistic missile defense system. The government recognized that no matter how much was spent on improving and expanding current technology, it would remain inadequate. They wanted us and a few other contractors to think “out of the box.”
When I first became involved in the project, I suggested that Isaac Asimov, who was a good friend of mine, would be an appropriate person to participate. He expressed his willingness and came to a few meetings. He eventually decided not to continue, because he did not want to have access to any secret classified information; it would limit his freedom of expression. Before he left, however, he wrote this essay on creativity as his single formal input. This essay was never published or used beyond our small group. When I recently rediscovered it while cleaning out some old files, I recognized that its contents are as broadly relevant today as when he wrote it. It describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity.
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The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down.
SCAMPER is a technique you can use to spark your creativity and help you overcome any challenge you may be facing. In essence, SCAMPER is a general-purpose checklist with idea-spurring questions — which is both easy to use and surprisingly powerful.
Accomplished creatives suffer afflictions often unique to their station in life. These afflictions can stall them from experiencing deeper fulfillment and having greater impact. Speaker & creativity consultant Jeffrey Davis defines three such patterns and offers suggestions for addressing them.
An edited transcript of a panel discussion on 'Computational Creativity and the Arts' from the Fifth International Conference on Computational Creativity serves as the prompt to a discussion of meta-level issues in the field of computational creativity.
You spend years writing stories as quickly as your fingers can fly across the keyboard, thrilled with the ideas, the characters, the dialogue, the action, EVEYTHING. Every stolen moment is spent adding to the word count, and those stolen moments are absolutely necessary because the story is always right there at the edge of your thoughts. It’s ready. You’re ready. It’s all flow. You are the ruler of all story!
Then you learn a New Thing—possibly the most wonderful and accurate and encouraging New Thing any writer could dream of—and yet your stories grind to a halt. Words that once spilled effortlessly onto the page become painful little treasures to be counted one at a time as they are pushed through the keyboard. Days that used to yield thousands of fantastic, reader-believed words might now give you a few hundred painfully-awkward words that’ll need much revising. Stories that used to seem so natural and alive and perfect now sound stilted and dull and derivative. Everything is wrong.
The importance of innovation in the world's economy, now undeniable, draws great attention to the need to improve organizations' creative potential. In the last 60 years, hundreds of books have been written on the subject and hundreds of webpages display information on how to be more creative and achieve innovation. Several North American and European universities offer graduated programs in creativity. However, building an effective and validated creativity training program is not without challenges. Because of the nature of their work, engineers are often asked to be innovative. Without aiming for a degree in creativity, could future engineers benefit from training programs in creativity? This article presents the conceptual framework and pedagogical elements of a new course in creativity for engineering students.
We report a summary of our interdisciplinary research project "Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making" that was conducted through close collaboration between computational, organizational and social scientists at Binghamton University. We redefined collective human decision making and creativity as evolution of ecologies of ideas, where populations of ideas evolve via continual applications of evolutionary operators such as reproduction, recombination, mutation, selection, and migration of ideas, each conducted by participating humans. Based on this evolutionary perspective, we generated hypotheses about collective human decision making using agent-based computer simulations. The hypotheses were then tested through several experiments with real human subjects. Throughout this project, we utilized evolutionary computation (EC) in non-traditional ways---(1) as a theoretical framework for reinterpreting the dynamics of idea generation and selection, (2) as a computational simulation model of collective human decision making processes, and (3) as a research tool for collecting high-resolution experimental data of actual collaborative design and decision making from human subjects. We believe our work demonstrates untapped potential of EC for interdisciplinary research involving human and social dynamics.
Stressed out, relentless, martyrdom is often viewed as part and parcel of success. From the sleepless persona of the Tech entrepreneurs, to the ubiquitous chatter around “grit,” tenacity has become synonymous with achievement. Yet, new emergent research is illustrating that perhaps dogged determination has been glamorized far beyond its usefulness.
One aspect of the project that we are particularly excited about is highlighting the role of creativity in mathematics research. All mathematicians tell us that doing original mathematics is highly creative – but what exactly do they mean by that? We asked some researchers from a range of subjects about the role of creativity in their work.
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was known for his walking meetings. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has also been seen holding meetings on foot. And perhaps you’ve paced back and forth on occasion to drum up ideas.
Ample time for unstructured play is essential to children becoming confident, intelligent, creative, and successful. In particular, outdoor playtime can expand children’s imagination, stimulate all their senses, and free their spirits. Some ideas for parents who want to protect playtime.