The art of science

The art of science: Stunning, psychedelic images from Fabian Oefner

Formally trained in art and design, Oefner says that he has always been interested in science. Though he can’t pinpoint the exact moment when he became interested in pairing his two loves, he views both pursuits as inextricably linked by a crucial bond: “The most important quality of science or art is curiosity,” Oefner tells the TED Blog. “That’s what keeps me going and always finding something new.”

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Creativity and Science Appreciation Program for Children – more info here

 

Adaptability@Large!

Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone.

… shows incredible images from communities thriving in ways that seem quite opposite to the uniformity of suburbs. …

adaptability

 

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It is a book! & CreativeWriting@Large!

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Creative Writing Program for children age 9-12

The StorySlime SnailFarm Creative Writing Project is designed for 9-12 year old children with the intention to support them to develop their creative muscles and writing skills.

Every other month a new ‘Beginning’ is offered, while the background as well as the information on the Characters is extended, based on the stories received in the previous month.

Children are asked to continue the ‘beginning’ of the story that is published on the website under HOME and to submit a complete piece of writing keeping the guidelines called GuideSlimes and keeping the environment and characters intact.

Stories need to be completed in 5 weeks and then submitted to snailmail@snailfarm.me e-mail address.

A committee – the creator of the Snails, a writer, an editor, and an animation expert – decides upon which stories to publish. The ones that appear on the site under StorySlimes are rewarded and a token of our gratitude is awarded to the ‘writer’ who receives an item with one of the Snails printed on it.

More info

imagination

The 10 Stages of the Creative Process

Well, very interesting … what do you think?
1.The Hunch
Any project starts with a hunch, and you have to act on it. It’s a total risk because you’re just about to jump off a cliff, and you have to go for it if you believe in it.

2.Talk About It
Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your community … they’re the ones who are going to support you on this whole treacherous journey of the creative process, so involve them, engage them.

3.The Sponge
I’m going to tons of art shows, I’m watching a lot of movies, I’m reading voraciously… and I’m just sponging up ideas and trying to formulate my own idea about the subject.

4.Build
I love the world “filmmaker” because it has “maker” in it. My team and I are … building an armature — the architecture for the project.

5.Confusion
Dread. Heart of Darkness. Forest of fire, doubt, fear… [But] as hard as it is — and it is really hard — any project … gets infinitely better after I’ve rumbled with all of my

6Just Step Away
Take a breather — literally just step away from the project… Let it marinate — don’t look at it or think about it.

7.“The Love Sandwich”
To give constructive feedback, always snuggle it in love — because we’re only human, and we’re vulnerable… Set expectations for where you are in the project, then ask questions in a way that allows for “the love sandwich”: First, “What works for you?” Then, “What doesn’t work for you?” Then, “What works for you?” again. If you just ask people for feedback, they’ll go straight for the jugular.

8.The Premature Breakthroughlation
You’ll find in a project that you’ll have many small breakthroughs — and you have to celebrate those breakthroughs, because they’re ultimately going to lead to the Big Breakthrough.

9.Revisit Your Notes
I always do this throughout the project, but especially during that last home stretch… I revisit all my notes and think back, and always find a clue — that missing link that brings it all home.

10.Know When You’re Done

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Innovation @ Large!

Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvas

Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it–literally. She covers everything in a scene–people, chairs, food, you name it–in a mask of paint that mimics what’s below it. In this eye-opening talk Meade shows off photographs of some of the more outlandish results, and shares a new project involving people, paint and milk.

Alexa Meade paints mesmerizing, illusionistic portraits directly on living subjects, subverting familiar visual cues with perspective and color.

A magic Carpet-Ride

Raghava KK: My 5 lives as an artist

With endearing honesty and vulnerability, Raghava KK tells the colorful tale of how art has taken his life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist — from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father.

Raghava KK’s paintings and drawings use cartoonish shapes and colors to examine the body, society, our world.

A creative @ Large!

Americ Azevedo: The Truth Demands To Be Lived by Richard Whittaker, Nov 30,

A few years ago Americ Azevedo sat in a college classroom with about 15 students. It was a meditation class and he was the instructor. This past fall, that same class enrolled 603 students and took place in one of the largest lecture halls on the UC Berkeley campus. A philosopher, author and lecturer of peace studies, Americ slips through all of these categories. Serendipitously he became the acting CEO of a company in a field for which he had no formal training. He’s taught an unlikely mix of university classes (philosophy, religion, leadership, finance, business and information systems), developed several virtual companies, directed the Innovation Center at Golden Gate University, and held the first podcast at UC Berkeley in 2005. Today, he co-teaches a class on inner-to-outer social change and focuses on building a more human world in this age of technology. Azevedo was born in the Azores and his family moved to the U.S. before he entered school. His journey is an inspiring one. I spoke with Americ at his office at the University of California, Berkeley.

extracts from the interview –

“I think prayer gives us an alignment and also maybe opens the subconscious to some kind of different view of the world. During that period of time we were assigned to do a science report. I found myself picking the seasons of the year. I wondered how they worked. So I started reading about them and eventually I conceived of making a presentation. I don’t know now how I came up with the flip chart idea [laughs]. The teacher just loved it! And I was put on a “lecture circuit” through elementary school about this. So then I became a science kid.


Without money you can have adventures.

In fact, that’s my work. My work is to try to find a way to alter the path of education. I didn’t really realize it until the years had passed by. Now I’ve finally reached the stage here at Cal where all my work now is about altering the path. Somehow all the elements, beyond my own control, have come into existence. My meditation classes have gotten huge. And it’s not just meditation. It means allowing consciousness, which grows out of meditation, to grow into the rest of life and to change how people work and the choices we make. That’s what the “Leadership, Dialogue, and Actualization” program has turned into. It’s a transformational workshop for students who come in to change their orientation toward consciousness and the world. It’s an approach to relationship.”

See more at

National Curriculum UK/Art&Design

A couple of weeks ago I had a good read of the national curriculum on Art and Design. Looking at these amazing initiatives (please see extracts below) I felt inspired to get in touch with different schools and organisations working with children to offer my creative courses, my expertise, my knowledge, even free of charge … but no response.

Extracts

The new national curriculum for art and design will give children “the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design” …

Children will benefit from this far stronger focus on drawing, …
Vague statements – such as references to children “exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes” – have been removed. …

The new national curriculum also encourages children to be creative and experiment with art at a younger age. …. Children will now be taught about experimenting with ideas, materials, tools and techniques from age seven rather than age 11.

From age seven, pupils will be encouraged to keep sketch books of all their work and record their observations and designs. They will be introduced to a greater range of materials (such as pencil, paint, charcoal and clay) to enable them to develop their techniques further.

The programmes of study for art and design are due to be introduced in maintained schools in England in September 2014

Source

What is happening don’t schools need people who can actually deliver the above?

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Tales of creativity and play

Another favourite of mine!:)

Designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

“playfulness helps us get better creative solutions”Tim Brown,the CEO of IDEO

Creative Personality (3)

Extracts from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity – Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention

5. Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion. Usually each of us tends to be one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show.

The stereotype of the “solitary genius” is strong and gets ample support also from our interviews.

Yet over and over again, the importance of seeing people, hearing people, exchanging ideas, and getting to know another person’s work and mind are stressed by creative individuals.

6. Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time.

Another way of expressing this duality is to see it as a contrast between ambition and selflessness, or competition and cooperation. It is often necessary for creative individuals to be ambitious and aggressive.

Several persons mention that in the course of their careers motivation has shifted from self-centered goals to more altruistic interests.

7. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape this rigid gender role stereotyping.  When tests of masculinity/femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.

8. Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent. Yet it is impossible to be creative without having first internalized a domain of culture.

So it is difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.

“This idea to create something different is not my aim, and shouldn’t be anybody’s aim. Because, first of all, if you are a designer or a playful person in any of these crafts, you have to be able to function a long life, and you can’t always try to be different. I mean different from different from different.” Eva Zeise

9. Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well. The energy generated by this conflict between attachment and detachment has been mentioned by many as being an important part of their work.

10. Finally, the openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.

Ever since the Romantic movement gained ascendance a few centuries ago, artists have been expected to suffer in order to demonstrate the sensitivity of their souls.

It is also true that deep interest and involvement in obscure subjects often goes unrewarded, or even brings on ridicule.

These occupational hazards do come with the territory, so to speak, and it is difficult to see how a person could be creative and at the same time insensitive to them.

Perhaps the most difficult thing for a creative individual to bear is the sense of loss and emptiness experienced when, for some reason or another, he or she cannot work.

And then you’re beginning again. You hope. Sometimes the hiatus will last not overnight but for weeks, months, and years.

Yet when the person is working in the area of his or her expertise, worries and cares fall away, replaced by a sense of bliss. Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.

These ten pairs of contrasting personality traits might be the most telling characteristic of creative people.

But what is important to keep in mind is that these conflicting traits—or any conflicting traits—are usually difficult to find in the same person. Yet without the second pole, new ideas will not be recognized. And without the first, they will not be developed to the point of acceptance. Therefore, the novelty that survives to change a domain is usually the work of someone who can operate at both ends of these polarities—and that is the kind of person we call ‘creative’.

Source: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity

“Try to be surprised by something every day” M. Csikszentmihalyi

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Creative Personality (2)

Extracts from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity – Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention 
THE TEN DIMENSIONS OF COMPLEXITY

1. Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest. They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.

It is probably true that in a system that is conducive to creativity, a person whose thinking is fluent, flexible, and original is more likely to come up with novel ideas. Therefore, it makes sense to cultivate divergent thinking …

Divergent thinking is not much use without the ability to tell a good idea from a bad one—and this selectivity involves convergent thinking.

3. A third paradoxical trait refers to the related combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility. There is no question that a playfully light attitude is typical of creative individuals.

Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not.

4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.

“”But the whole point of art and science is to go beyond what we now consider real, and create a new reality.”” Albert Einstein

Most of us assume that artists—musicians, writers, poets, painters—are strong on the fantasy side, whereas scientists, politicians, and businesspeople are realists. This may be true in terms of day-to-day routine activities. But when a person begins to work creatively, all bets are off—the artist may be as much a realist as the physicist, and the physicist as imaginative as the artist.

Source: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity

“Try to be surprised by something every day” M. Csikszentmihalyi

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The creative personality (1)

Extracts from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity – Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention

“Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals. If nothing else, this distinguishes them from the rest of us.”
“If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it would be complexity. By this I mean that they show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes—instead of being an “individual,” each of them is a “multitude.” Like the color white that includes all the hues in the spectrum, they tend to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves.

Having a complex personality means being able to express the full range of traits that are potentially present in the human repertoire but usually atrophy because we think that one or the other pole is ‘good,’ whereas the other extreme is ‘bad.’

This kind of person has many traits in common with what the Swiss analytic psychologist Carl Jung considered a mature personality.

A complex personality does not imply neutrality, or the average. It is not some position at the midpoint between two poles Rather it involves the ability to move from one extreme to the other as the occasion requires.”

Source: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity

“Try to be surprised by something every day” M. Csikszentmihalyi

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