Cultures of Creativity

Dear Readers,

It’s been a great joy to work for the what if?-blog so far.

Today, I would like to ask for your feedback and advice. I will reflect on what we did up to now and pose a few questions to you. I would very much appreciate, if you took the time to answer us in the comment section below. Please read this post up to the end and get in touch with us. Thank you very much.

Having read Clio’s post “Working creatively within constraints” in which she mentions LEGO, I explored the LEGO foundation website today and found an article in which they talk about the four building blocks of cultures of creativity:

HAVING
Ensure availability of stimulating artifacts, tools, media and materials, which you can play, make and tinker with, to foster experimentation and a creative environment.

DOING
Practicing simple and meaningful creative activities in relationship with others, like spontaneously expressing our ideas, and experimenting with things in our everyday environment.

BEING
Be a role-model for creative behavior by developing simple rituals and traditions, which support creative habits and stimulate the social conventions in the group and the society we belong to.

KNOWING
Encourage the availability of knowledge and experiences describing the value of playfulness and experimentation, by documenting and sharing experiences, to sustain new ideas and activities in culture.

Quoted from the Lego Foundation site, framework adopted from Sørensen et.al. 2010.

Since we would like to build a culture of creativity with what-ifblog.net and our associated social media sites, I was wondering which building blocks we should feature more and what are we doing well already?

We would very much like you to tell us what you like here, and what you miss. What could be an incentive for you to creatively engage with us?

Here is what I think we are doing already on what-ifblog.net.

HAVING
We try to make stimulating art and media available for you in form of blog posts, links and further information which you can find on divers social media channels of ours, as for example here or on our twitter account.
We are still in the planning stage of putting up a SoundCloud to share our sound material for you to play and tinker with.
How can we share images/videos with you in a way that you can use them and play and be creative with the material? Any advice from the community is appreciated.

DOING
Our creative challenges are meant to stimulate meaningful creative activities. We are still experimenting with the form and presentation of it. Which challenges did you like so far? Which challenges did you recognize as such? Are you more into text challenges? Photo challenges? Video or composing?

BEING
It is a difficult task to show our own creative rituals and traditions to our followers, if we only meet online. Any ideas how we could do this?

KNOWING
By offering you creative challenges we try to encourage your creative sense of playfulness and experimentation. At the moment we are working on a short film that includes your text contributions to our wish and vision-challenge from August.
We are not yet sure how to additionally feature your contributions best, but we are working on it. Your input is also very welcome here.

Any ideas and thoughts you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you.

Photo: ©Barbara Lüneburg: “Clio’s idea of a perfect TV-night expressed in LEGO”. (Yes, the blue steering wheel, that’s her in her little red brick house in front of her cute yellow TV set. Well spotted!)

About barbara_lueneburg

My personal characteristics: curiosity and passion for the arts. My professions: (electric) violin | sound art | research. http://www.barbara-lueneburg.com

There are 5 comments

  1. knitnkwilt

    I don’t have an answer to a direct question, just a reaction to the “Having” quotation. I’m sure in the context of the Lego site, that “Having” includes having Lego toys around to create with. However, I’m thinking of the many young ones who use their imagination to create with the box that the toys come in. Or the wrapping paper.

    I remember one trip when we had packed things for our young girls to entertain them. What we had not packed was the roll of paper toweling that was always there to clean up the car windows. The girls did have dolls and tape. They spent almost the whole trip designing fashions for their dolls.

    I was never able to recreate a setting just like that.

    1. barbara_lueneburg

      Thank you for your comment. You are so right that the inspiration to be creative sometimes comes from what is right next to us. It doesn’t have to be anything special.

      I often think, if your mind is circling around something you will see it reflected in every day objects that trigger your imagination to new connections. Just as you tell us about your kids: Paper toweling, dolls and tape–of course those must be meant for fashion designing, how could we ever not see that.

      Recently, I was thinking about how selfies taken on different days might express different moods we are in or maybe even various aspects of our personality. Next, I came across these cute labels for a cider brand that pictured a sheep, a boar, and a hare. One looked like a motor cylist, one like a sunny boy and the other like a happy hiker. The juice was called “Wild Side” which–I guess–spoke to a certain side of my identity.

      I was imagining how a series of selfies could be interspersed with those label photos (expressing my motorcycling-fast-and-wild-hare-mood or my I-am-going-out-for-a-nice-long wintery-hike-mood in my cosy sheep look). So I took some photos for my future selfie-series. (I would so like to show you the pictures now which I cannot because my word press template doesn’t support pictures in comments).

      Who knows which other photos will come up in my Be-Your-Selfie-project. Maybe images of men, because sometimes I feel more masculine, or pictures of comic figures that I love for whatever reason.

      Where do you take inspiration for your quilts from? The colours, the patterns? I am curious.

      All the best and thank you again, Barbara

      1. knitnkwilt

        Love your selfie example with its source in unexpected juxtaposition. Similarly, sometimes quilt inspiration comes from two fabrics that “just happen” to be lying together. Other times from starter ideas: ideas in a challenge; ideas in the masterclass prompts. Sometimes from browsing through my collection of traditional patchwork patterns. Sometimes from names (a poultry quilt –a sampler where every block has poultry in the name). I realize it rarely comes from an empty slate. sometimes from a photo. I have a post scheduled for 9/22 where the fourth question answered is about my creative process–it illustrates some of this.

      2. barbara_lueneburg

        Is this the post you mention? http://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/around-the-world-blog-hop/
        I love this paragraph:

        “4. How does my writing/creating process work?
        I have several starting points for quilts: challenges, photos, browsing traditional block possibilities, themes, or sometimes starting with a favorite fabric. The more restrictive a challenge is, the better. When they are too open ended, they aren’t really a challenge. I think my favorite challenge was a crayon challenge where we reached in a bag and drew out two crayons and had to make a quilt using only those two colors. I groaned when I drew brown and cranberry.” (Followed by a beautiful picture of a quilt in brown and cranberry…)

        Working within restrictions can free the imagination. I reckon one of the challenges of being creative is that the options are so manifold. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to progress. If you give yourself a clear framework, you are not as easily overwhelmed by the thousands of creative alternatives you could also work on.

        Dear all, who might follow this conversation, read more on Claire’s Quilting blog about how she works and what she does: http://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com.

  2. Clio Montrey

    That sounds very interesting. Indeed creativity can be stimulated by observing coincidences; I know that for me, that happens a lot. Sometimes just looking out the window will give me an idea, but the best parallel example I can think of is when I take an accidental photo with my camera and it provides an angle and composition I’d never consciously use. Sometimes this kind of composition is very interesting, and I try to take a photo in that style later on. You’re very welcome to leave the link to your post here as a comment, I for one would be very interested to read it.

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