When rules and experience prevent us from thinking creatively

At the recent Digital Shoreditch,  Laurie Santos, Professor at Yale University, showed an experiement between chimpanzees and children. The experiment shows how much sharing knowledge, and receiving shared knowledge, means to out behaviour and our (in)ability to see clearly and innovate.

But there’s hope for children and creativity. As stated in an article about creativity shared by a friend of mine, iNyk, on Twitter:

“When children draw, they don’t worry about making mistakes; they take risks, do their own thing and have fun.”

So while children loses out to chimpanzees, they are still better than us in being free to innovate… does that mean it is an age thing?

Maybe it is an age thing, or maybe not. Maybe it is an experience thing. The more we become comfortable and experienced with a tool, the less we use it in new ways.

When you open a software you are familiar with you use it as you did yesterday and the day before. Like you were taught either by others or by trial and error by yourself.

But what if you opened it without any preconceptions of what the software is meant to do for you?

You might suddenly find yourself creating amazing artwork using Microsoft Excel as 73-year-old Tatsuo Horiuchi did.

Excel Art

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