How does an environment influence or affect creativity? Lets start off with the three different types of environments:
- Built Environment: constructed surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging from the large-scale civic surroundings to the personal places
- Knowledge Environment: social practices, technological and physical arrangements intended to facilitate collaborative knowledge building, decision making, inference or discovery, and
- Social Environment: the culture that an individual lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact
So a creative environment is by definition, one in which contains creative people and is where creative products or solutions are formed.
Okay so back to the question; how does an environment influence or affect creativity? An article I read said that a well-designed workplace may be beneficial, but it’s not an essential factor. For example, the Apollo 11 moon landing was created in ordinary office cubicles; Google, Apple, Disney etc started out in a garage; The Wright brothers invented in a bike shop. These all prove that great things can happen in boring places, though there’s always a question of whether their inventions could’ve been improved at the time if they had been in a more “creative” environment.
Another article noted how dim lighting and ambient noise might lead to more out-of-the-box ideas. It can apparently encourage freedom of thought; the dim lighting downplays a room’s distractions, making you focus predominately on the work at hand.
The architecture is usually designed to reflect vision of the organisation’s future. Powerful themed graphics, and various vintage and re-cycled materials are often used to generate energy, inspiration and deliver exceptional sustainability benefits.
Creative thinking people must allow their minds to relax in order to let their minds be creative. Many things can help with this; comfortable seating, space to move around, and a pleasant temperature can all contribute. Some places have beanbags and pillow handy to help people relax, such as ECU Mt Lawley Library.
People can be creative anywhere though, not just working environments:
- Drab stairwells
- Break rooms
- Bathrooms (they can heighten the senses and stimulate creativity)
No matter how inspirational any environment is it will make no difference without creative individuals to exploit it. The space will not do the work for you; the ideas and application to develop them must come from you. Overall Architecture is important and can definitely influence ones creativity, it’s just not a primary factor. So what makes an environment creative? You do.
Getting a little tipsy improves problem solving and leads to what is known as the Consciousness and Cognition. Which are referred to as “sudden insights”, which someone sober has significantly less often.
I suppose it comes down to s a personal thing, where you personally find yourself more creative. I usually find myself most creative in my own bedroom, as it’s where I spend most of my time sleeping and dreaming things up.
Scott Burkun. (October 4th 2012). Does Your Workplace Affect Creativity? Mostly No: http://scottberkun.com/2012/does-your-workplace-affect-creativity-mostly-no/
Cheryl Perkins. (March 25th 2013). Work Environment can Influence Creativity: http://innovationedge.com/2013/03/25/work-environment-can-influence-creativity/
Cody C. Delistraty. (September 22nd 2014). How Environment can Boost Creativity: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/09/22/how-environment-can-boost-creativity