I believe a link exists between creativity and the environment that surrounds it, and there are crucial processes that foster creativity.
For starters, ideas take time to mature into something useful and accessible. Breakthrough ideas take a long time to evolve and may even spend a long time dormant in the background. Environments that foster patience and are comfortable in the grey zone of unanswered questions will be more likely to develop creativity.
Ideas start off as small ‘hunches’ that evolve over time, but good ideas usually come in the form of smaller collisions between smaller hunches. Side projects need to meet and other people’s ideas need to collide.
The Impact of an Always-On World
Our internet lifestyle means we are constantly distracted, always connected, multitasking and over-thinking. This state of being does not seem conducive to the slower pace necessary for creativity.
So, will our shift away from slower, deeper contemplative states lead to less sophisticated ideas? In our distracted reality, how can we create infrastructure and systems that foster patience and allow ‘hunches’ to collide together?
Coffee Houses were for a long time engines of creativity because they allowed ideas to collide and develop into new forms.
For starters, we have many new ways to connect and reach out or stumble serendipitously on new ideas. Certainly, the driver of scientific and technological innovation has been our hyper-connectivity and ability to reach out to others who help turn hunches into something new.
This lovely stop motion film unpacks the creative process in a post analogue world and shows that just as the days pre-internet, creativity is about making connections.