Creativity – or is the World a Construction Kit?

May 22, 2013 Katharina Lochner

Try Something Out and be Creative

Last week, we learned that in order to make kids learn, we need to address their curiosity and creativity. How can we do this? Give kids – and not only them, but also adults – the opportunity to just play and create things that might look crazy and even useless at first glance.

Today’s post is not so much about scientific research. It is more about a kind of field experiment Jay Silver conducted. His idea was that that sometimes your hands know and your intuition knows. But sometimes what you know gets in the way of what could be. Thus, he simply had people try out whatever came to their mind. And people, including himself, created objects like a brush that played sounds while working with it, a mushroom organ or game controllers made of play-dough. In a TED Talk, he presents a few of these inventions.

The interesting thing is that even though one might not have been able to find a purpose for the objects he and others had created, they managed to sell them. After a while, he saw videos of people doing really crazy things, apparently inspired by his inventions. And all of a sudden, some of the inventions turned into something useful. For example, disabled people used them as auxiliary devices which they normally would not be able to afford. Professional musicians used some of the inventions. And so on!

Thus, Jay Silver sees the world as our construction kit that gives you many ways of expressing yourself. His idea of a perfect world is one that is being created by seven billion pairs of hands, each of them following their passion. So go ahead and just take some time to try something out. Whatever comes to your mind. You think it’s crazy? Good!

About the Author

Katharina Lochner

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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