This past week was very much about creativity. As we progressed further in the study of Arduino and Processing, we have started connecting the dots of what these technologies can do creatively. The simplicity with which some sensors can be used to create amazing stuff is really astonishing.
But we have also analysed brainstorming techniques and (literally) tried Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, with interesting results. How can we learn to adopt someone else’s point of view in a critically constructive way?
Sketching and Sketching
The creative process, I am learning more and more, is built on trial and error. I was quite surprised to find out that projects in the Arduino software and in Processing are stored in a virtual ‘Sketchbook’. The programs assume that whatever you create, you are virtually drawing it, a homage to physically drawing with pencil and paper, perhaps.
And it is with very basic programming skills that I have drawn my little triangular friend above, in case you’re wondering what the hell is that. Getting him to move around was definitely harder than one might believe.
Incidentally, we’ll start drawing soon as part of this course, and if I’m finding programming challenging, I believe drawing is going to be even tougher. A primordial stickman is probably my best drawing up to date, so stay tuned for some post-impressionistic abominations coming up next week…
If the hat fits, wear it
Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats is a parallel thinking process developed to help people be more productive and focused. Each thinking role represents a symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally (and physically) wearing and switching “hats,” people can focus or redirect thoughts according to specific roles. For more about that, you can check De Bono’s website here.
As far as my personal experience with the Hats is concerned, I found quite difficult to successfully embrace one, or any role. In a real-life situation, I believe the red hat, the one of ‘feelings’ would be the more appropriate for me to wear. However, when worn in a group of people who are still relatively new to each other, the hat felt quite heavy. I knew how certain things made me feel, or might make other people feel, but sharing it with the group was still challenging. Wearing the other hats was understandably even harder.
I believe that, like many things, this is a skill that would take some time to develop, but an incredibly useful one. Seeing things from different perspectives is an essential part of the creative process, and I’m looking forward to practising more and becoming proficient with different hats.
Where are we headed
It is from scratch, from sketches that we start building something, anything. As the rudimentary brain mapping exercise above shows, we build on a specific idea again and again until it becomes unrecognisable, completely something else.
I believe I’m starting to develop a different mindset, thanks to this course. A different approach towards creativity and the process of ‘making things’. I’m not yet sure where that will lead me, but with every tool that I acquire, the possibilities multiply and with them my ability to give them shape and substance.
Next week, among other things, we’re going to explore the concept of biomimicry with a visit to Kew Gardens. After that, you’ll be able to witness the ‘drawings’ I mentioned above.
Thanks for reading!