“Then there’s another view, which I heard from author Neal Stephenson in an MIT lecture hall last week. A hundred years from now, he said, we might look back on the late 20th and early 21st century and say, “It was an actively creative society. Then the Internet happened and everything got put on hold for a generation.”
An individual who has to make things for the use of others, and with reference to their wants and their wishes, does not work with interest, and consequently cannot put into his work what is best in him.
First, the gathering of raw materials-both the materials of your immediate problem and the materials which come from a constant enrichment of your store of general knowledge. Second, the working over of these materials in your mind. Third, the incubating stage, where you let something beside the conscious mind do the work of synthesis. Fourth, the actual birth of the Idea-the “Eureka! I have it!” stage. And fifth, the final shaping and development of the idea to practical usefulness.
And although literacy rates are notoriously difficult to assess, there is sufficient evidence (mostly drawn from signatures) that between 1640 and 1700, the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was somewhere between 89 percent and 95 percent, quite probably the highest concentration of literate males to be found anywhere in the world at that time.2 (The literacy rate for women in those colonies is estimated to have run as high as 62 percent in the years 1681-1697.3)
It used to be that work was based on a legacy of the reforming of the industrial revolution, 9-5 work with overtime etc. In the last 10 years many of us have taken the leap into a digital working future, which instead of freeing us from this rigid work structure has in fact made working into a 24 / 7 working week and has allowed it to invade every part of our lives. How can we take a step back and regain some balance? The articles in this week’s collection all look at that problem and deal with in very different ways.
To describe a problem is part of the solution. This implies: not to make creative decisions as promoted by feeling but by intellectual criteria. The more exact and complete these criteria are, the more creative the work becomes. The creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means : to pick out determining elements and combining them.