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Creativity, as all we know, is marked as a vital talent that everyone need, as well as the power that can foster the world moving forward. However, here are the questions, what exactly is creativity? What do we know about creativity? And what is the role of creativity in design? Through a deeply analysis and exploring, this paper demonstrate the understanding of creativity and the relation between creativity and design.
Definition of creativity
Commonly, Creativity is known as the ability to create something new, something original and something valuable. In fact, due to distinct levels of our society, creativity can be defined in various ways as it means different things to different people. To an artist, for example, creativity is the source of inspiration. According to Dr Robert J. Sternberg's, author of the best seller, creativity is experiential intelligence which is the balance of three types of ability, including synthetic ability, analytical ability and practical ability.
There are two main processes involved in creativity, thinking and producing. Creativity starts with dreams and fantasy. It is born when there is a problem to solve. At the time of creation, original ideas and solutions are generated in various methods. Afterwards, these novel ideas are refined under careful consideration in the process of brainstorming. Finally, with passion and persistence, vision will be translated into reality. Come to a conclusion, creativity can be simply explained as the way to realize dreams.
It is no exaggeration to say that this is the age of creativity. The objective world is upgrading and constantly changing all the time as people are always looking forward for better quality of life. We have moved to an era of conceptual at the beginning of twenty-first century. Creativity, which is believed as the leading factor to successes in future, is needed to accelerate the development of the world because it plays a vital role in solving problems, promoting prosperity and improving existing condition.
Nature or nurture?
Creativity is not something that only reserved by designers or artists. It can be found across all field of work. All people are innately creative as everyone is born with certain creativity as a gift. It is a nature talent which we start off having as a child. Interestingly, creative can also be developed or destroyed as time went on.
Most of the time, the ability of creative is decreasing with the increasing of age. It is an indisputable fact that youth is the most creative period of life. Looking at the Purdue creativity tests which Mathew Taylor, have mentioned in his talk, an obvious result has shown that, as children, they are not afraid to make mistakes; they have no embarrassment at all about sharing their thoughts and ideas. Thus the mentality of free from fear really opens up with more possibilities for creativity. However, the ability of imagination starts to narrow down when we become older and older as our productive thinking is limited to the changes of attitudes and social values. We start to be more sensitive to the thoughts and opinions from other people. As a result, the freedom of imagination is highly hindered by the fear of judgment of ambient pressure.
Children express their opinions and ideas in their own way which may distinct from adult. The creative expression of idea that Children have shown are usually regards by adult as strange or inappropriate. So adults are trying to impose their own standard to children and hope to help them return to the so-called right path. Because they believe in that a good child should always act as an ordinary people. In this way, the freedom of coming up with novel ideas has been taken away from children. In other words, creativity has been killed. We usually identify with the degree of the creativity that has been displayed to describe whether someone is creative. But the truth is that since creativity is associated with uniqueness all the time, most people could not really understand creative behaviors which are always described as unusual and unconventional.
Creativity is unlimited. As Maya Angelou, the great American poet, said, ¿½¿½you cannot use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.¿½¿½ In fact, Creativity is an ability that actually has nothing to do with age, but can be affected by various elements, such as education system, cultural background, financial situation, and social or family support as creative activities are supported by both mental and physical development. Due to the result of the recent studies of creativity, more attention should be paid to environmental and acquired factors because potential from inside of us can be enhanced with the positive influences of these factors and vice versa. In summary, creativity is a largely innate talent which can be always developed or destroyed.
Creativity and Education system
Children are one of the most creative groups of people, especially for those who under age of five. Unfortunately creativity starts to diminish from then onward. Coincidentally that at this time, formal school begins; so there is some belief that education discourages creativity in children.
There is no doubt that educational institutions are having a great influence on the development of creativity as the root of the creativity is based on education. Obviously, our current education system is not in concert with the reality and there is a visible shortcoming in our education system. A regular and traditional way of thinking patterns is always given to children at school based on a settled rule that there is always a correct and wrong. As a student, there is no choice but following up.
Mistakes are not irremediable errors, but are regarded as the worst thing ever in school. In this way, the fear of failure which is the greatest obstacle to be creative will be established gradually. And we will never ever come up with something original with the frightening of being wrong. Brilliant ideas sometimes are lighted on in the process of exploring the mistakes. Admittedly, a rigid and rife education system really interferes with the development of the creativity potential of children a lot.
The traditional education system has divided subjects into different level due to the industrialism. However, this education hierarchy has left something to be desired. Subjects are treated unfairly at school. Science and math which are highly required at the time of industrial revolution are placed at top and creativity subjects that are thought as inferior and valueless are putting at bottom. Indeed, we stand at the portals of a new age where creativity is dominating the world. Nowadays, Students who might be weak in mainstream subject will still be regarded as someone useless. Refer to the talk by Ken Robinson:
¿½¿½The consequence is many highly talented and creative people think there not, because what they were good at school was not valued or was stigmatized in education.¿½¿½
Creativity needs to be more nurtured in education. It is hard to say that creativity is kinds of talent that could be given by someone else or be taught because there is nothing to teach. Nevertheless, creative potential in people could be motivated by means of proper education as it promotes a chance to trigger or encourage the creativity. In my own point of view, education should not be accused as something to destroy the creativities, but a tool which could help us to organize the ideas and to think in a more professional way. A proper schooling can bring people to a higher level of creativity. Without having education, for example, a designer could be limited in the expression of their creativity as a fully development is needed between inspiration and final design. Education institutes should play a vital role of providing fundamental technologies to well prepare their students to all challenges.
A comparative study of differences and similarities in the educational systems around the world makes us a better understanding of the relationship between creativity and education. It investigates the importance of education: and how schooling can affect children. Various education systems have different tremendous bearing on creativity of children. However, it is clearly that there is a huge difference between western and Eastern.
Most Asia countries are fully examination-oriented education which means education systems were fully embodied in the academic tests. All teaching methods are prepared towards exams in accordance with the outline of textbooks. This model has been extended from primary school to university. Students have to a pass tough test before they go on to next stage of education. There is a widespread belief that higher diploma, the better. So the score of the final exam really means a lot to one's life. Therefore, a long-term passive learning environment has been created. But, in fact, only a safe trusted environment can maximizes the creative output as people feel freely to play and be creative in a secured and relaxed mood. In the western countries, there is a huge difference. Schools pay more attention to student¿½¿½s talents and interests as personality and practical skills are highly emphasized in education. They believed in that individuality is more important than ever. Creativity thus flourishes.
Bauhaus, a leading design school which is famous for the revolution of teaching method in art and design, is worth a mention. It is established in Germany at 1919. The educational aim of Bauhaus is to bridge the gap between art and industry through an unprecedented curriculum which combine of both theoretic education and practical training. All forms of art are bought together. There is a bold reform in the teaching method at Bauhaus. A six month foundation course which including all elementary was provided before the formal three year course . Unlike ordinary school, Bauhaus believed that art need to meet the requirement of society. Students at Bauhaus took the workshop training course that taught by one artist and one craftsman. Stripped away from safely and academically teaching philosophy, the staffs in Bauhaus prepared the entire student learn beyond their profession. Creative and passionate artists acted as the spiritual counterpoint to purely technician. A contrast of creativity and practical skill was made for the benefit of the student.
Creativity, Art and Design
Refer back to design and art, creativity is highly valued in these two fields. Art is always considered as the expression of emotion, culture and environment with a certain purpose by using diverse range of human activities. Design returns to its primal meaning, which is more than just the act of making things beautiful, but also encompasses and orientates life itself. The combined words "arts and design" have been used around for a long time. Design is closely linked with art and sometime is also regarded as a kind of art as well. Similar to the definition of creativity, ¿½¿½Art and Design¿½¿½ could be also defined as the method to restructure the expression and bring the visionary into reality with a certain purpose.
Art should be a form of representation of the object carefully thought out by the artist in terms of form and color. It is the way that how the artist could bring across his interpretation of the scene and the object. For instance, painter sits there doing the work, he experiences different feelings and emotions, and then transfer them onto the canvas. The translation of expression o is nothing, but creativity. As an artist, Picasso, one of the most known painters all over the world, felt that all art works should not be a direct replica of the object that the artist is painting. According to Georges Braque, Picasso¿½¿½s friend,
¿½¿½Painting is a method of representation. One must not imitate what one wants to create.¿½¿½
Should a piece of work be a direct replica of the object painted, then it lacks originality and creativity. Looking at Picasso¿½¿½s Bottle of Perod below (Table in a Caf¿½¿½), it is evident that Picasso saw things with a different eye that was very much different to the people living in that times.
As the name suggested, the object is a table with a bottle of wine on it. However, the exact look of the bottle of wine, the table and the wine glass in the painting seems fractured. The natural form of these objects have torn apart and blurred, making it difficult to read and tell what exact shape of the wine glass and bottle and the edge of the table is. These objects have been broken up and given varying forms through the eye of Picasso. They have been manipulated, twisted, and given a different angle, form and color as a result of the changes of emotions, feelings and perspectives of Picasso. The role of creativity in painting is the way that help artist to be unique and more groundbreaking.
Design is a form of creation, and creative is attached to the act of creation. However, Design is not always equal to creativity. It is a kind of esthetics with creativity. Creativity has nothing to do with design. Without creativity, design still could happen. But creative thinking is an essential element in design problem solving as design should always be considered with functionality, aesthetical attraction and innovative ideas which will fulfill the needs and requirements of people. These three inextricably linked factors works together to create a perfect design. Design, on the other hand, is more complex than creativity as design still need to follow certain law and rules. But creativity is bound with nothing. Take the full advantage of creativity could promote an outstanding achievement in design. Sometimes, designing problem could not be solved simply through researches or algorithms. The innovation solution usually requires creativity so that the designers could be inspired. Creativity enables artist and designers to think beyond the conventional domain.
Creativity in Architecture
The huge difference between architecture and building is that a subject that has attached with the attention of creativity. Architecture can be said to be as a balance between art and technique. Creativity enhances the designing of building. Only when a building is developed with a concept could be called architecture.
Architecture always takes influence from art works, to provide an aesthetic result that is stimulating for creativity. It is once believed that architecture, painting and sculpture are closely associated with each other. Examples of artworks like painting, sculpture that have directly influence on architecture could be easily found all the time. Architecture and art are admirably intertwined to provide an opportunity for each other to learn from. Some of the most obvious examples are offered here to investigate the relation between art and architecture.
In the sense of creativity, new concept has been contributed from their own point of view. Most importantly, creativity is produced through the process of idea exchange. It is evident that artists and architect saw things with a similar eye that was very much different to the other people. Architecture is a form of art of designing environment which embraced with urban, landscaping and building. Buildings are just like human being. They might look the same, but actually they are totally different from one another. Each of them is unique with its own character. Creativity can bring out the best in architecture. A good architecture seduces people into staying. There is no rule for design to follow by; good architecture should always be designed with functionality, aesthetical attraction, and creative ideas that will make convenience for people over long periods. With the well- conceived design concept, Architecture is not only a shelter for people to live in but an urban art piece.