Assignment 17: “Creativity” – Jodi Kiefer

paper: Fischer, G., Giaccardi, E., Eden, H., Sugimoto, M., & Ye, Y. (2005) "Beyond Binary Choices: Integrating Individual and Social Creativity," International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (IJHCS) Special Issue on Creativity (eds: Linda Candy and Ernest Edmond), p. (in press).

Briefly discuss the following issues:

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

First of all, I liked the wolf pack quote by Rudyard Kipling. I found this article to be very interesting. I had never liked the strong, and now apparent, correlation between individual and social creativity before. In particular, I found the discussion of the differences between Communities of Practice and Communities of Interest to be interesting and informative.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I do not find interactive art to be particularly interesting to me.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

Individual and social creativity go hand-in-hand – you can not fully have one without the other.

3. pick ONE of the four systems described in the article (Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory, Caretta, Renga Creations, CodeBroker) and discuss which aspects of individual and social creativity they support!

The EDC supports both individual and social creativity with a higher emphasis on social creativity. The shared physical working space allows individuals to express themselves in their goals, backgrounds and personal motivation. This physical working space not only allows the individual to articulate their position but also allows them to explore various alternative and solution scenarios thus demonstrating the individual creativity aspects of the EDC. This shared working space along with the computational model and feedback of the system provides a strong foundation for social creativity. Experts from various fields are able to express their knowledge to the group as well and integrate it with other provided information. This ability of all participants to ‘throw it all on the table’ creates an environment where social creativity thrives allowing for group consented solutions to be discovered.

4. have you encountered interesting “boundary objects?” which ones? what features made them interesting?

One interesting set of boundary objects are the books in the book series ‘___ for Dummies’. There is a multitude of available topics all written by experts for novices. For example, one of my roommates has just bought the ‘Home Buying for Dummies’ book to help her purchase a condo. This book series provides digested and important information on a need-to-know basis to novices. It provides the necessary details to allow an individual to become acquainted with the domain area to at least be able to function within it.

5. describe the most creative activity from your OWN life and analyze the individual and social aspect of your creative act!

During my junior year of college I lived with 7 roommates in a storage deficient house. We had to figure out a way to fit 7 bikes into the front porch area in a disaster-free way without taking up the entire space. After browsing through various second-hand and hardware stores for ideas, I decided to make a bike rack out of a side of a child’s crib. By mounting balancing brackets to the corners, we had a free-standing bike rack that neatly fit the 7 bikes in an organized small space.

6. which computational systems do you know which support individual and/or social creativity?

There are numerous systems that support creativity which are found in everyday life. A couple of examples would be Word, Photoshop and Swikis. Word, at a basic level, has the ability for users to create macros thus creating an opportunity for individual creativity. Photoshop provides endless tools and functionality for creative modifications/enhancements to pictures which directly supports individual creativity and indirectly, by the sharing of files, supports social creativity. Swiki is a great example of a system that supports social creativity. By allowing multiple users ‘designer’ privileges, a group design area is created in which collaboration between participants is greatly supported.