Exercising the mind

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The Daughter was home at the weekend and working on her latest project for her graphic design course. The theme had been chosen using a technique I have used with groups to get the creative juices flowing, namely picking words at random to spark off associations. (Edward de Bono provides some lists to get you started in his book, “How to have creative ideas”.) The art tutor had taken this a step further by combining two words picked at random, and the task was to develop a piece of artwork from there.

The words she had been given? Sympathetic Orchestra.

So what did she do with that combination? She  traced the first four or five bars of a beautiful piece of music that had been played at her great uncle’s funeral and painstakingly embroidered this onto a handkerchief. This will be photographed for the finished piece, held in the model’s hands.

What would you do? Your associations for those words will be totally different from the Daughter’s, and mine. That’s why I use the technique with teams, to demonstrate how everyone brings their own unique perspective to an issue. By sharing those diverse perspectives, ideas emerge which you would never come up with on your own. Creativity is both an individual and a team sport. Why not play?

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