Nimble: Thinking Creatively in the Digital Age will help you discover how to develop a creativity that is strategic and also able to cross platforms, industries or sectors. You’ll discover a creative thinking process that allows you to generate scalable ideas that are both sticky and stretchy.
Fast and Fearless
Staying nimble requires play, observation, listening, reflection, lifelong learning and taking things in stride–a kind of brabery. It requires becoming–an active habitual process (what coreographer Twyla Tharp calls The Creative Habit)–and a lifestyle approach to developing your cognitive and creative abilities.
What do IDEO, Google and children have in common?
Many designers play through an exploration of materials, as did the famous husband and wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames. To prepare students for specialized studies, the Bauhaus preliminary course immersed them in the study of materials along with color theory and composition.
Josef Albers, esteemed artist and educator, who taught at the Bauhaus, Yale University and Black Mountain College, believed his goal as an educator was ‘to open eyes’. In Teaching Form Through Practice he wrote:
Inventive construction and an attentiveness that leads to discoveries are developed–at least initially–through experimentation that is undisturbed, independent, and thus without preconceptions. This experimentation is (initally) a playful tinkering with the material for its own sake. That is to say, through experimentation that is amateurish (i.e. not burdened by training).
Experimentation skips over study and a playful beginning develops courage. Thus we do not begin with a theoretical introduction: at the beginning there is only the material, if possible without tools. This procedure leads naturally to independent thinking and the development of an individual style.
When children play, they don’t worry. But adults worry about appearing foolish or taking missteps. Children rarely apologize for being silly or saying something zany or taking an invented game in a fantastical or odd direction. They go with the flow. Adults are often too self-conscious to play with abandon.
When you do take some time during your day to participate in creative play, don’t worry about anything. Enjoy yourself and let your thinking flow. And if it makes you feel better, remind yourself that it will improve your skills.
Play is what you want to do so as opposed to what you’re told to do.