Creative Quartets Workshops
Forming and aligning new, interconnected opportunities and/or assets
See Creative Ensembles | User Guidelines | The Metadesign Research Centre | John's TEDx talk (Oslo 2013)
- What Are Creative Quartets?
- a re-invention of the genre of invention.
- an opportunity-finding methodology
- What is it NOT? - it is not a design method. Nor is it a problem-solving tool.
- What does it do? - it turns existing assets & resources into an abundance of new & intertwined synergies.
- How does it work? - it pluralises the act of bisociation at an optimum (i.e. manageable) scale.
- Outcomes? - unforeseen opportunities and/or new ways of thinking (e.g 'problems' may become 'assets').
- Who are its beneficiaries? - users of the Creative Quartet system, their communities, and/or others.
- What are its limitations? - users may find it hard, or even impossible, to attain predictable outcomes.
Why Do We 'Design' When We Could (re)Combine?
- It is likely that mankind's first attempts at 'design thinking' was in the shaping of single objects.
- The traditional act of 'invention' can be seen as a genre of focusing on possible new 'gadgets'/'widgets'/Apps etc.
- Traditionally, humans are accustomed to manufacturing these new products from virgin materials.
- However, in the living world, innovation more often occurs when existing assets (DNA etc) re-combine.
- In any case, all creative thinking is the result of what Koestler called bisociation.
- This combinatorial process therefore is less a focus on things and more upon the relations between them.
- As relations outnumber things, a combinatorial approach could unleash an almost limitless range of novelties.
Limits to Thinking in Parallel
- There are cognitive limits to the number of relations humans can manage effectively.
- Indeed, humans find it increasingly hard to innovate in clusters bigger than four (c.f. the genre of invention)
- (see figure 1 above)
- A quartet is six times more productive than a duet
- This can be explained visually, using a tetrahedron
- A tetrahedron has 4 vertices and 6 edges.
- We can see this as a model of how there are always more relations (edges) than things (nodes).
The room is normally laid out as a flat tetrahedron
- Bateson G (1979) Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. New York: E. P. Dutton
- Bohm, D., (1980), Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, Boston
- Florida, R., (2002), The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life by Richard Florida today! Basic Books, New York
- Jones, H., (2007) Bisociation within Keyword-Mapping; An Aid to Writing Purposefully in Design, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp.
- Sheldrake, R. (1981), 'A New Science of Life',
- Taleb, N. N. (2007) 'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable' 2007. New York: Random House
- Taylor, P., &Wood, J., (1997), "Mapping the Mapper", in collaboration with Paul Taylor, a chapter in "Computers, Communications, and Mental Models", eds. Donald Day & Diane Kovacs, Taylor & Francis, London, ISBN 0-7484-0543-7, pp. 37-44, January 1997
- Wood, J., (2005), “How Can We Design Miracles?”, introduction to “Agents of Change: A Decade of MA Design Futures”, pages 10-14, (June 1, 2005), Goldsmiths College, (Hardback), ISBN 1904158617
- Wood, J., - chapter 8 of his book Design for Micro-Utopias
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