Teaching Talia

The History of Creative Thinking

Posted on: March 1, 2010

– Imagination
– Association
– Location

… are central to creativity and memory

Leonardo da Vinci’s Principles for the Development of a Mentally Literate Mind:

1. Study the science of art.
2. Study the art of science.
3. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see.
4. Realise that everything connects to everything else.

The Four Cs

– Context
– Concept
– Content
– Constraints

Thomas Edison. By the end of his life Edison had documented his ideas, like Leonardo, in numerous (more than 3,500) illustrated notebooks, leading to 1,093 patents for his inventions, the most ever registered by any human being. One of the interesting things about Edison’s notebooks are how he used them. Once an invention was complete, he would “take apart” the notebook pages and reconstruct and try to reapply his models and notes to other, new and developing ideas.

Edison, aware of his own time constraints and physical limitations (one person can only do so much), also constructed a support network to facilitate his creative outcomes in practical ways. He hired technicians to collaborate on inventions; he wanted an ‘invention factory’. As many as 80 ‘earnest men’ including chemists, physicians and mathematicians were on his staff. He is credited with creating the world’s first complete research lab. (4) So – what was a constraint for Leonardo da Vinci, became an opportunity for Thomas Edison.

Quote from Lecture 1

Creative thought can also be divided into divergent and convergent thinking processes:

– Divergent thinking is the intellectual ability to think of many original, diverse, and elaborate ideas

– Convergent thinking is the intellectual ability to logically evaluate, critique and choose the best idea from a selection of ideas.

Talking Point 1 – The History of Creative Thinking Which creative thinkers have you always admired and why? Find a definition of creative thinking, and post it in this Talking Point – we will start a discussion about the differences between creative, critical and innovative thinking.

Well, I was going to say Thomas Edison, him being my favourite historical figure and all, but now that he’s been mentioned so much in this lecture I feel like I can’t! Haha. So I guess I’ll have to choose someone else! A creative thinker who wasn’t mentioned, but who I’m thoroughly obsessed with at the moment is Edward De Bono. What an amazing thinker- hopefully it’s not too cliche to include him as a creative thinker I admire!

I’ve recently been reading The Six Value Medals (only a few pages left!), and bought a few more books which I can’t wait to get stuck into. I really admire him because he makes creativity so ‘explainable’ without limiting it. I don’t know if others suffer from this at all, but I often KNOW what I mean, but can’t find the words to articulate it. Edward De Bono’s books always make so much sense, and help me to share my thoughts and ideas (and his thoughts and ideas!) with others.

Brainstorming.co.uk defines Creative Thinking as “Specific thought processes which improve the ability to be creative. Being in an optimal state of mind for generating new ideas. To think deliberately in ways that improve the likelihood of new thoughts occurring. To maximize the ability of the brain to think of new ideas. The ability to think of original, diverse and elaborate ideas. A series of mental actions which produce changes and developments of thought. The process of exploring multiple avenues of actions or thoughts.
(Sometimes called divergent thinking because thought patterns and areas of belief are expanded.)



2 Responses to "The History of Creative Thinking"

I am going to read more about Edward De Bono too-good article ya

Interesting! Thanks for the info. Quick question. What was the frustration/constraint for Leonardo? Not being able to implement/act on all his ideas I’m guessing? He was constrained by time, whereas Einstein wasn’t because he duplicated his effort through others?

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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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