Anne Aretz
A theoretical thinker, design lover, brand etc. in a digital product strategy and design studio.

A mix of my random thoughts, interests and opinions.
  • "The long path from material through function to creative work has only a single goal:to create order out of the desperate confusion of our time. We must have order,allocating to each thing its proper place and giving to each thing what it deserves according to its nature."

    Mies Van Der Rohe

    Create order, don’t add to the chaos. 

  • "

    What is needed is a more intelligent, considered view of the opportunities that Big Data represents. It certainly provides a granular record of human behaviour that is historically unprecedented. Hans Eysenck, one of the early pioneers of psychology generated his famous personality theory by studying soldiers in WWII who were being treated at the hospital where he worked as a staff psychologist. Just think what he could have done with the material available from our digital traces.

    But the desire for ‘solutionism’ runs deep and is perpetuated by many technology providers who are proffering solutions to augment our inadequate capabilities. Take the current rash of wearable technology that allows users to log thousands of photos of their lives every day. A great facility for market researchers of course but surely it’s questionable whether this adds or detracts from the experience of being human. Some things we would rather forget.

    "

    "The reductionist agenda of big data"

    We are far too orientated on finding the solution that we do not really think about why that is the solution. Data is supposed to tell us why, not what. 

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  • "

    Creativity in the workplace cannot be turned on and off. It can’t be effectively sequestered to a “design thinking room” or a “creative thinking room” (both of which we’ve seen way too often). It can’t be suddenly initiated by donut breakfasts, casual Fridays, or giving everyone iPads. It won’t survive if it’s just a one-off event like a make-a-thon weekend or an innovation workshop. Creativity is high maintenance.

    Creativity is also like language. Fluency develops through practice, and it’s much easier when you’re immersed in the culture than if you pop in and out of it.

    It’s a mindset of curiosity, exploration, and play that bleeds into all aspects of our business and community. It’s how designers can stay optimistic and confident in the face of ambiguous challenges.

    "

    "Creativity is Stranger Than Fiction" - Michael Hendrix in Metropolis Magazine

    The idea of creating a culture of creativity is somewhat preposterous to me. You cannot really manipulate culture; it has to evolve and form organically. You can however, make an effort to employ endlessly curious people. What I mean by curious is not people who want to read research reports and so on; I mean people who just want to learn something new everyday. 

    Ego is a big barrier to creativity and I think that Michael makes an excellent point here (without even saying it). He talks about staffing a diabetes project with designers, etc., who had no experience in healthcare. This eliminates any issue of ego, pre-conceived notions or ideas based around “I did this and that the last project and it was awesome, so let’s do it again here.”

    No experience can be a beautiful thing; it forces us to be creative, to learn, to ask new questions, to see things in a different light. Experience can be the foil to creativity because the schemas created by past projects, experiences change the way we view the new challenge in front of us. 

    A culture of creativity is built around people who just want to learn. They don’t want the credit. They don’t want the by-line; they just want to try something new, ask questions, create something new and, in this case, ultimately solve a problem. 

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  • "According to Dr Kaufman, the impact of new digital tools on our creativity is akin to a second cultural ‘big bang,’ one that is reshaping not just our world, but also our minds. “The big bang of cultural explosion 10,000 years ago wasn’t a result of bigger brains evolving, but the ability to use new tools,” he explains. “Currently, we are seeing another cultural big bang. Due to the use of technologies that allow unprecedented levels of collaboration we can now utilize diverse kinds of minds in ways that we have never seen before. [For instance,] autistic people are currently not well served in traditional education systems, but they have great value to society in terms of their very detail-orientated thinking and a way of seeing the devil in the detail that most other people won’t.”"
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  • All this talk on what creativity is was getting too intellectually exhausting. Thank god for John Cleese for providing a nice ‘recess.’ 

    studio630:

    John Cleese - A Lecture on Creativity…and The Number of People it Takes to Fix a Lightbulb

    A old and inspirational gem on what makes us creative as told by British comedian John Cleese.

    (via thenextweb)

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  • "But not all tasks require working memory for success. In fact, sometimes people’s ability to think about information in new and unusual ways can actually be hampered when they wield too much brainpower. This means that what we think of as our optimal time of day, may not be optimal for everything.

    Recent research confirms this idea. In a paper published last December in the journal Thinking and Reasoning, psychologist Mareike Wieth and her colleagues found that when people have to solve “insight problems” that require a high degree of creativity, solvers are much more successful when they tackle these problems at the time of day in which they are least alert.”

  • "In conversation, Karp could evangelise on the force of creativity for hours. At times he will suddenly pause, before retracing his steps and continuing with animated zeal."
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  • Are creative people harder to trust? Maybe a little bit more dishonest? Apparently, yes. 

    stoweboyd:

    Steve Jobs was theorethically channeling Picasso when he said ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal,’ but he may have been onto something. It turns out that creatives are more likely to cheat, according to new research by Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely:

    Francesca Gino

    Carmen Nobel via HBS Working Knowledge

    Is there a link between creativity and unethical behavior?

    There certainly is, according to an article in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In “The Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can Be More Dishonest,” the authors report that inherently creative people tend to cheat more than noncreative types. Furthermore, they show that inducing creative behavior tends to induce unethical behavior.

    It’s a sobering thought in a corporate culture that champions out-of-the-box thinking.

    “In any organization, especially in contexts that are global and very competitive, there is so much focus on trying to be innovative and creative,” says Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, who wrote the article with Dan Ariely of Duke University. “But is creativity always good? We often hear of cases in which people use innovative behavior to create a sense that what they’re doing is not morally wrong. So, Dan and I started wondering whether there is something about the creative process that triggers dishonest behavior. Specifically, we decided to explore the idea that enhancing the motivation to think outside the box can drive individuals toward more dishonest decisions when facing ethical dilemmas.”

    […]

    Overall, the researchers learned, the higher the creativity required for the job, the higher the level of self-reported dishonesty.

    Then, through a series of experimental studies, the researchers tested—and largely proved—the theory that creative people are more likely to exhibit unethical behavior when faced with ethical dilemmas.

    […]

    “These were simple studies, but they were powerful in showing that our ability to justify things is significantly greater if we are in a creative mindset or when we are creative people,” Gino says.

    That said, Gino is quick to add that she and Ariely are not suggesting that companies put the kibosh on innovation in order to keep dishonesty at bay.

    “We’re not saying that creativity is bad,” Gino says. “But we are saying that it can lead to problems. And so the question from a manager’s perspective is: How do you get the good outcomes of creativity without triggering the bad outcomes?”

    While “The Dark Side of Creativity” doesn’t answer that question directly, Gino hopes that the research will remind innovative organizations not to give short shrift to ethics.

    “As a manager, if you’re highlighting the importance of being creative and innovative, it’s important to make sure that you’re stressing the presence of ethics, too,” Gino says. “Dan and I are of the hope that managers will start thinking about how to structure the creative process in such a way that they can keep ethics in check, triggering the good behavior without triggering the bad behavior.”

    Perhaps the creatives’ world view involves a relaxation of the ‘principles’ that constrain people with other perspectives? What is they are inseparable? I don’t think you can chase away the devils of creativity without losing the angels, as well.

    (Source: underpaidgenius, via stoweboyd)

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