– Dr Gareth Loudon on Creativity and Flow





Full title: Creativity, Flow and Your Psychophysiological State of Being

In this seminar Gareth Loudon spoke about his current research.

Definition of Creativity: “ability to come up with ideas or artefacts that are new, surprising, and valuable.”

According to Gareth the most creative and valuable works within design comes from a process that can be seen in the LCD model for Creativity – this model involves Empathy and Collaboration. At its centre is ‘BE’ surrounded by ‘Connect’, ‘Listen’ and ‘Do’

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(From the ideas of Kelley and Kelley (2013), Theory U by Scharmer (2009), as well as that of Csikszentmihalyi (1996), Amabile (1996) and Tan (2013).He talks about Flow as being fully immersed in a mental or physical activity.)(From the ideas of Kelley and Kelley (2013), Theory U by Scharmer (2009), as well as that of Csikszentmihalyi (1996), Amabile (1996) and Tan (2013).He talks about Flow as being fully immersed in a mental or physical activity.) 

– Centre for Creativity

Empathy causes you to me open, alert and flexible. Gareth also speaks about how finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life is the key to wellbeing. (Paul Dolan’s Book – Happiness by Design)

Be = a persons state of Being (Consider the new philosophy of Mindfulness)

Listen = Being open and aware to ourselves, others and the world around us.

Connect = Connecting with others, especially those we have not connect with before. Being open to new ideas and concepts (remove the blinkers)

Do = Creating, Making, Playing and Exploring.

I can see how this process works well. I feel collaboration and empathy is an important part of the creative process and particularly within the design field. Empathy is not only for people but also for the planet and all its inhabitants. I feel collaboration with people outside your interest sphere has great potential for new and interesting concepts.

Gareth also talked at length about how different states of wellbeing can affect creativity of greater or lesser extent.

The Creativity Process

  • Preparation
  • Incubation (Chill out time – let your brain catch up, can’t be forced)
  • Illumination
  • Verification (Evaluation)

When in the ‘Incubation’ area distraction and mental relaxation helps to resolve unresolved issues. There are of course advantage and disadvantages to distraction. Constant distraction causes you not to be able to immerse yourself into something fully.

Good Environments for Creative Processing 

  • Space that stimulate
  • Space for collaboration
  • Space for play
  • Space for Reflection
  • Have some element of nature or access to nature

NB – Do what you want! What are you curios about?

Things that help with creativity

  • Being Attentive
  • Being Alert
  • Being Aware
  • Being Sensitive

I found this session very interesting and relates to my work in regard to collaboration. It also emphasises the importance of creating spaces of wellbeing for all will make encourage empathy and collaboration that would make this planet a better place for everyone. This should be taken into consideration when designing school curriculums and their environs.

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