Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7400 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘creativity

Distributed Creativity

We believe that existing models of creativity do not adequately address the distribution of the range of creative acts across individuals in the collaborative creation of media in online environments. In particular we emphasize the fluid nature of users’ transitions between the creative roles of synthesizer, analyzer, and viewer at different phases of production online. We illustrate our position with qualitative data describing video remixing processes in the online community Jumpcut.

It is this socio-technical network of influences conflating the roles of creator and audience that underpins the model of distributed creativity that we propose. Specifically, we believe that free association of ideas as a central concept of creativity provides a useful lens for understanding the creative process in online communities of cultural production. An individual participating in such communities fluidly traverses a range of creative roles from consumer one moment to producer the next, collecting, relating, creating, and donating, acting out of curiosity and instinct at least as often as with intention and reason. Even when the individual does not directly communicate with members of the community via human language, his or her actions necessarily modify the digital collective in a subtle or profound way—actions which, in turn, evoke responses and reactions from other individuals, through a process known as stigmergy.


Integrating Individual and Social Creativity

The power of the unaided individual mind is highly overrated. Although society often thinks of creative individuals as working in isolation, intelligence and creativity result in large part from interaction and collaboration with other individuals. Much human creativity is social, arising from activities that take place in a context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embody collective knowledge are essential contributors.

This paper examines: (1) how individual and social creativity can be integrated by means of proper collaboration models and tools supporting distributed cognition; (2) how the creation of shareable externalizations (“boundary objects”) and the adoption of evolutionary process models in the construction of meta-design environments can enhance creativity and support spontaneous design activities (“unselfconscious cultures of design”); and (3) how a new  design competence is emerging—one that requires passage from individual creative actions to synergetic activities, from the reflective practitioner to reflective communities, and from given tasks to personally meaningful activities. The paper offers examples in the context of collaborative design and art practice, including urban planning, interactive art, and open source. In the effort to draw a viable path “beyond binary choices”, the paper points out some major challenges for the next generation of socio-technical environments to further increase the integration of individual and social creativity.



Beyond Binary Choices – Integrating Individual and Social Creativity

Design for Emergence: Collaborative Social Play

Design for Emergence investigates spontaneous, unpredictable uses of technology that are driven by social contexts and collaborative processes, based on our ability to communicate our presence, both virtual and physical, in symbolic ways. In light of the fact that social dynamics and unexpected uses of technology can inspire innovation, this book proposes a research model of design for emergence, focusing on emergent phenomena as part of an iterative design process. By providing playful, technology-mediated experiences with minimal structure, unpredictable user behaviours can emerge through exploration, resulting in a richer and more complex, social experience. The research methodology is practice-based; two interactive prototypes were designed, implemented and evaluated in different contexts. User studies showed that collaborative, spontaneous play can enhance the sense of social participation in a group activity. Collective and individual behaviours and creative uses of technology emerged from a simply designed application based on symbolic presence, both in the virtual and the physical world. The observed emergent behaviours are personal and collective extensions of the virtual experience in the real world.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 18, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Designing for Emergence and Innovation: Redesigning Design

We reveal the surprising and counter-intuitive truth that the design process, in and of itself, is not always on the forefront of innovation. Design is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the success of new products and services. We intuitively sense a connection between innovative design and emergence. The nature of design, emergence and innovation to understand their interrelationships and interdependencies is examined. We propose that design must harness the process of emergence; for it is only through the bottom-up and massively iterative unfolding of emergence that new and improved products and services are successfully refined, introduced and diffused into the marketplace. The relationships among design, emergence and innovation are developed. What designers can learn from nature about emergence and evolution that will impact the design process is explored. We examine the roles that design and emergence play in innovation. How innovative organizations can incorporate emergence into their design process is explored. We demarcate the boundary between invention and innovation. We also articulate the similarities and differences of design and emergence.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

Real Learning is a Creative Process

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ~Albert Einstein

Real and meaningful learning is a creative process. Skills and knowledge cannot be downloaded like computer software, they must be acquired, constructed and mastered– through long-term application and effort.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion

Through curiosity, children carve out concepts from the environment that they assemble into models to describe the world. Children then test those models to see how well they predict what they observe, and they use the results from those experiments to form new concepts and models—leading to the next round of the curiosity cycle. However, our children are more than passive observers. They are an embodied part of the world and have brains that are predisposed to see the environment in particular ways. To get the most from their curiosity, children must build models about the intentions of those around them and the tendencies within themselves. These curious minds will be entering a world that is increasingly dominated by computation. Computers are becoming better at understanding the physical environment, and this will transform the workplace and alter how we spend our free time. This book explains how your child can understand how a computer thinks and how your child can leverage his or her curiosity to thrive in a world with intelligent computers where human creativity is valued above all else.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

Vygotsky and Creativity: A Cultural-historical Approach to Play, Meaning Making, and the Arts

This text presents a Vygotskian perspective on children’s and adults’ symbolic engagement in play, multi-modal meaning making, and the arts. Psychologists, artists, and educators present research and practice in a variety of learning environments through the lens of Vygotsky’s cultural historical theory. The connections between creative expression. learning, teaching, and development are situated in a theoretical framework that emphasizes the social origins of individual development and the arts. The authors share a view of learning as an imaginative process rooted in our common need to communicate and transform individual experience through the cultural lifelines of the arts.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 11, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity

In Making is Connecting, David Gauntlett argues that through making things, people engage with the world and create connections with each other. Both online and offline, we see that people want to make their mark on the world, and to make connections. During the previous century, the production of culture became dominated by professional elite producers. But today, a vast array of people are making and sharing their own ideas, videos, and other creative material online, as well as engaging in real-world crafts, art projects, and hands-on experiences. Gauntlett argues that we are seeing a shift from a ‘sit-back-and-be-told culture’ to a ‘making-and-doing culture’. People are rejecting traditional teaching and television, and making their own learning and entertainment instead. Drawing on evidence from psychology, politics, philosophy, and economics, he shows how this shift is necessary and essential for the happiness and survival of modern societies.


From Complexity to Creativity: Explorations in Evolutionary, Autopoietic, and Cognitive Dynamics

Cybernetic pioneer Warren McCullough asked: “What is a man, that he may know a number; and what is a number, that a man may know it?” Thinking along much the same lines, my question here is: “What is a creative mind, that it might emerge from a complex system; and what is a complex system, that it might give rise to a creative mind?” Complexity science is a fashionable topic these days. My perspective on complexity, however, is a somewhat unusual one: I am interested in complex systems science principally as it reflects on abstract mathematical, computational models of mind. In my three previous books, The Structure of Intelligence, Evolving Mind, and Chaotic Logic, I have outlined a comprehensive complex-systems-theoretic theory of mind that I now call the psynet model. This book is a continuation of the research program presented in my previous books (and those books will be frequently referred to here, by the nicknames EM and CL). One might summarize the trajectory of thought spanning these four books as follows. SI formulated a philosophy and mathematics of mind, based on theoretical computer science and the concept of “pattern. ” EM analyzed the theory of evolution by natural selection in similar terms, and used this computational theory of evolution to establish the evolutionary nature of thought.


Written by Giorgio Bertini

September 10, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Music, Language, and the Brain – Evolution

From an evolutionary standpoint, language and music are peculiar phenomena, because they appear in only one species: Homo sapiens. The closest that nonhuman animals have come to language has been in studies in which pygmy chimpanzees learn a simple vocabulary and syntax based on interactions with humans. Although these results are fascinating and important, these animals show no evidence of a language-like communicative system in the wild, based on either vocal or gestural signals. Furthermore, even the most precocious language-trained apes, who may acquire a few hundred words, are far surpassed by ordinary human children, who learn thousands of words and complex grammatical structures in the first few years of life. Finally, no primate has ever been successfully trained to speak, despite numerous efforts. Language, as we commonly understand the term, is the sole province of humans.

What of music? Initially it may seem that music is not unique to humans, because many species produce “songs” that strike us as musical. Songbirds and certain whales are notable singers, and in some species, such as the European nightingale, an individual singer can have hundreds of songs involving recombination of discrete elements in different sequences. Furthermore, songbirds and singing whales are not born knowing their song, but like humans, learn by listening to adults.


Read also: The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition

The Cultural Part of Cognition

Culture in Mind: Toward a Sociology of Culture and Cognition


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