Sunday, November 29, 2009

Expressive Lives

This collection of essays from DEMOS examines the idea of 'expressive life'.
It helps us to see creativity and heritage as the fabric of our society that gives meaning and value to our lives.
Contributors from across the creative and cultural sectors look at the effects of changes in our behaviour towards cultural institutions, developments in technology and the global exchange of different attitudes and beliefs.
These combine with political uncertainty and economic upheaval to put culture and creativity at the heart of debate about the future of our communities and international relations.

Go here for a free download:
and while you are there search the site.
There is really great material to be found.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Imagination First

I read a lot of books about creativity and innovation.
This one was recommended to me by my friend Joe Miguez. Imagination First is about cultivating the imagination based on the premise that imagination unlocks the power of possibility. Authors Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon offer a very simple continuum placing imagination first. They call this the ICI Continuum. Imagination [defined as the capacity to conceive of what is not] is followed by creativity [imagination applied], which is followed by innovation [defined as novel creativity].
The book then goes on to briefly describe 28 and a half practices to develop imagination. There are chapters like "Untie your tongue", "Talk about your work with someone who doesn't understand it" and "Design for the hallway: Let informal spaces thrive".
At the end of the book the authors comment; "In these pages we've offered you some new ways to see seeing. Now its up to you to find some new was of doing."
They continue. "But before any of this, changing yourself and the world demands a purpose-fed, positively charged, playful imagination. It demands imagination first."
I am inclined to agree! Well worth the read.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Making of Me

Demos is a London-based think tank. Its contributors generate ideas to improve politics and policy, and give people more power over their lives.
One of their recent publications is titled Making of Me.
The quote on the cover summaries its content. "Creativity is vital in shaping our futures . . . . families are fundamental in developing it." Its a free down-load.

Here is the link.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The LAB Man

Joe Miguez is known as 'the labyrinth man'. I had the pleasure of his company in South Africa at the 15th International Creativity Conference and participated in his workshop intriguingly titled "Quantum Chroma Dynamics - A Four Square Rapid Design System for Accelerating the Creative and Innovative Process". I think I was attracted to the workshop because I had no idea what it was about!!
Now I wasn't sure that I was a labyrinth type person - I am now.
I had similar sentiments expressed by Greg Fraley in his blog about Joe and labyrinths and ended up a fan, as did Greg.
I'm not sure I can put my finger on what happened while walking Joe's indoor version of the labyrinth. My previous attempts at quieting and focusing my mind have not been particularly successful but with Joe's guidance this experience brought me closer to state of relaxed alertness than any other method I have tried. If you get the chance to walk a labyrinth with intention then do so.
Here is a link to an article to a masters level research paper that makes the link between creativity and the labyrinth. It is by Janice Fransisco and also appears on Greg Fraley's blog site.
Pictures courtesy of Alan Black

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Story of Tom's Shoes

Creativity, making a profit and doing good. Check it out.

A Creative Space

Dale Copeland is well-known for her unique assemblage art. Mike Scott of the Taranaki Daily News [thats in New Zealand] visited her working space to ask about her work.
This video is made entirely from still photographs.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Passion and Purpose

Of the many highlights from the 15th Annual Creativity Conference in Africa one stood out for me. I have an addiction to percussion and Mark Dodsworth of Red Zebra fed that addiction. This from Mark in the conference handbook.

"There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us.
Creativity is a natural resource, but habitual patterns of thought exhibit a powerful pull on the mind leading inexorably to habitual solutions.

Innovation demands a shift in perspective. From the very beginning this workshop will resonate with each individual creating a high level of group synergy, establishing a fertile ground for shared living and personal growth."

And it did exactly that - using dialogue, reflection and percussion Mark worked with the group on identifying passion and purpose. In doing so each group committed to developing a performance for the evening session in front of all conference attendees. Some participants claimed no sense of rhythm, some had never played any percussion before but Mark worked with all and facilitated [ably supported by his co-facilitator - Peter Schaupp] two very fine performances incorporating percussion, voice and movement. The performers loved it, the audience loved it and being totally selfish - I loved it. I'm going back for more!
Check Red Zebra out - they work across both community and corporate sectors.

If you want a visual taste of what they do go here: