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Research Areas



Creativity

 

This is a picture of me lecturing on the 6-Hats as a model of Instructional Design to a class that includes Dr. Edward de Bono

 

Creativity is something I am very interested in; What is it? How does it work? Is it different from Innovation? Can we teach it? Are some people better than others at it? How does it relate to programming and design?

I have been investigating concepts related to creativity and have been looking for sources of creativity. Part of this research has been working on projects with Edward de Bono to look at models of supporting creativity, e.g. The Six Thinking Hats, the CoRT techniques and Po. Some of the other models of creativity I have investigated, experimented and published research additionally with the following techniques; MindMaps, BrainStorming, Analogies, and Freewriting.

In terms of sources of creativity I am looking at a range of souces. I'm looking at inventors and their approaches. I'm looking at how Literature is created and what it is, and how different authors have created their works. I am also looking at comics to see if their writing differs significantly from books. By looking at Television writing I am hoping to see if writing for a medium that is not only visually-based, but action-based, is significantly different. Finally I am looking at RPGs to see if they can aid creativity.

~~Creativity Models~~

There are a wide range of models of creativity that I am studying, below are three of Edward de Bono's models.

 

The Six Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats is a creativity technique that allows groups and individuals to look at important decisions from a number of different perspectives. It helps better decisions to be made by pushing people to move outside their habitual ways of thinking.

 

The CoRT Techniques

The CoRT Techniques focus attention directly on different aspects of thinking synthesises these aspects into definite concepts and tools that can be used deliberately.
 

Po

A "Po" is an idea which moves thinking forward to a new place from where new ideas or solutions may be found. The term was created by Edward de Bono as part of a lateral thinking technique to suggest forward movement. It is an extraction from words such as hypothesis, suppose, possible and poetry, all of which indicate forward movement and contain the syllable "po."

~~Inventors~~

Preston Tucker

Inventor of a narrow-wheelbase armored combat car for the U.S. government that could reach over 115 mph. It was rejected; however, the highly-mobile, power-operated gun turret the combat car featured earned the interest of the U.S. Navy. The Tucker Turret was soon in production and used in PT boats, landing craft, and B-17 and B-29 bombers. He also designed the 1948 Tucker Sedan, a safety car with innovative features (some taken from aircraft) and futuristic, aerodynamic styling. His specifications called for a rear engine, disc brakes, fuel injection, the location of all instruments within the diameter of the steering wheel, and a padded dashboard.

James Dyson

Inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, and the directional ball, plus the Dyson Blade.

Nikola Tesla

Inventor of the AC motor, the Logic-AND gate, the radio, and work in nuclear physics.

 

 

~~Literature~~

Literature is an obvious place to look for approaches to creativity, in my work I am focusing on specific authors who demonstrate a wide range of writing styles and genres. Below are Samuel Beckett and Walter B. Gibson, other writers I am looking at are; Charles Williams, William Faulkner, Philip K. Dick, Michael Ondaatje, George R.R. Martin, Thomas Pynchon, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert M. Pirsig, Jack Kerouac, Douglas Adams, Robert E. Howard, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf

 

Samuel Beckett

This research investigates Samuel Beckett in a range of contexts. Can Beckett's work be extended in an online context? What are the implications of putting his work online? How does it effect the work and how does it change the relationship of the reader to the writing?

Walter B. Gibson

Walter Gibson was an American author and a professional magician best known for his work on The Shadow. He wrote hundreds of books in his lifetime, often two novels a month, particularly during the American Depression era.

~~Comics~~

Comics are a very interesting form of creativity since they are activating two parts of your brain at the same time; both the visual imagery part and and text processing part. Various studies in the 1980s suggested that this meant both the left and right hemisphere of the brain are active at the same time. The apogee of comicbook writing is considered to be Watchmen by Alan Moore. Below I look at a few of Alan Moore's other works.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG)

Victorian Literature is a big obsession of mine, so this site shows teams of Victorian characters working together.

Albion

Same as LXG annotating comic books may have some link to creativity.

~~Television~~

I am very interested in television writing and the incredible degree of creativity that is required to tell a dramatic story each week, with a message, and to hopefully link all the episodes into a coherent philosophy. J. Michael Straczynski compared it to Harlan Ellison's feat of writing short stories in public and posting each page up as it is written, so he can't go back and change anything (a feat itself inspired by a tale told of the great Georges Simenon)

Babylon 5: The Apocalypse Box

J. Michael Straczynski wrote over one hundred episodes of Babylon 5 episodes (including related spin-offs). The Apocalypse Box is a puzzle at the centre of the Babylon 5  spin-off series "Crusade". 

The Twilight Zone

Rod Serling wrote almost one hundred episodes of the Twilight Zone featuring some of the most remarkable stories in the history of television.

~~RPGs~~

Role-Playing Games are a really underappreciated form of creativity, the Gamesmaster and players has a general idea of the situations, locations, and scenarios, but between them they have to fill in the specifics and react to suggestions over and back. So there is a real group, collaborative creativity occuring in these RPGs.

The Savage World of Solomon Kane

The Savage World of Solomon Kane features Robert E. Howard's Puritan hero, Solomon Kane, who fights evil in all its forms.

 

The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu is an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft's best-known short stories collection. The stories feature the extraterrestrial entity Cthulhu.