I recently came across A Transactional Approach to Creativity and its Implications for Education by Irving A. Taylor. While this 1969 research on creativity may seem outdated, its quite interesting and touches on many aspects of creativity, which I’m sure will still provide reason for reflection.
The research states that creativity is initiated through initial experience of exposure, and is the desire for an individual to alter their environment in accordance with their perception of how it should be.
Which is to say that designers think changing their environment is necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t feel the need to be creative and reorganise anything.
At the root of creativity is a tension, or restlessness that is created because of the disparity between the personal perception of how the environment should be and how it actually is.
According to the research, creativity can be expressed in 5 levels which correlate to the disparity which the individual perceives.
My interpretation of the creative levels applied to design and their disruptive potential is as follows :-
- Expressive Spontaneity – Is the spontaneous uncommitted doodle you make in your notebook during meetings. It may mean something, but its usually just and inconsequential distraction. Although, “freedom to create without training may result in products that are creative when the person in question has a great deal of talent”.
- Productive Skill – Is the design proposal which fits within existing mainstream trends and common manufacturing processes, such as a the creativity of craftsman. Worth noting is how “Adhering to external rules of production can take on the character of conformity, unless the skills are transacted by individuality”.
- Inventive Ingenuity – Is applying existing trends and manufacturing processes which aren’t typically associated with your product. Like adapting knitting technology to shoe upper production. “resourcefully combining tangible elements relevantly and uniquely to solve old problems, or transactionally discovering new relationships”.
- Innovative Flexibility – Is creating a new use for a design, like the first running shoes for example. A design that stems from abstract ideas which offer a significant functional improvements from previous.
- Emergentive Originality -A totally new disruptive design like the first footwear, which will inform new schools and trends. “Maximally abstract, where a person creates an entirely new way of perceiving a significantly large portion of the environment”.
Some processes involved in creativity are :-
Divergent Thinking Ability.
Process Criteria :-
Adaptiveness to Problem Solving.
So what to do with this theory? I would start by asking “what is the goal of the project”?
To download the research paper as I did CLICK HERE
For more of my Design Theory posts check out :-
Dissatisfaction as a Motivational Design Force
The 6 Stages of Moral Development by Lawrence Kohlberg Applied to Design
Socratic Thinking Applied to Brands and Design
Or CLICK on Design Theory under the title of this post.
Pingback: The 5 Levels of Creativity in Footwear Design | 74 FOOTWEAR DESIGN CONSULTING