Creativity techniques: Why Raffi should bring us to bars.
Creativity is in the center of all our readings, our program, our attitudes, the height of a cool design thinker and innovator. I came to this program because I think creativity is cool, and I want to leverage mine to be unique! In order to reach my goal, I need to push myself out of my box of being a good engineering to become a creative engineer. And I think it is my biggest challenge.
Going through our readings of the past weeks, and particularly the Creative Thinking Techniques of Robert Harris, I found some great ideas to develop my creativity. And as visualization is very powerful, I drew my favorite tricks yesterday (see below).
But waking up this morning, I remembered Nilofer Merchant TEDtalk and her walk meetings to foster creativity. What other activities could boost my creativity? As a result, I found a good amount of studiesi, showing not only that creativity can be boost with unexpected activities, but also that researchers are definitely having fun! Some techniques made me laugh, other more skeptical, but well, creativity is like potatoes, it is unique one to the other, can take different shapes, and can develop in any type of soils. Choose your canvas, and start growing yours.
a. Get some booze! A studyii showed that with an average of 3 drinks, people get more creative than people who didn’t drink at all. So can we ask Raffi to have our next class at the bar? b. Listen to “Eine Kleine Nacht-Musik” . According to the “Mozart Effect”iii, listening to Mozart’s classical music can increase creativity, concentration, and other cognitive functions. It’s not clear if this effect actually exists, but a little classical music can’t hurt! c. Sit outside a box. In another studyiv, people who sat outside a box (literally) were better at thinking creatively than people who sat in it. If you don’t have cardboard boxes big enough, try to change your work environment! d. Hang out with French people. I heard we are sarcastic and pessimistic; and this other studyv stands that hearing sarcastic expressions of anger can help our ability to solve problems more than just hearing direct anger. So who wants to be my friend now? e. Watch tennis games. Moving the eyes back and forth facilitates interaction between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which may boost creative thinking.vi f. Go Green! Looking at something blue or green tends to enhance performance on cognitive tasks because green signals growth and blue is associated to the openness of the ocean and the sky.vii g. Don’t walk, think on your back. Unlike Nilofer Marchant, a researchviii found people are better at solving anagrams when they are lying down versus sitting up.
I tried to sum up my finding in a visuals way, it actually makes something very funny!
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