ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘creative environment’

Simply Taking a Moment to Look at This Will Benefit Your Brain

Posted by Plish on May 29, 2015

forestResearchers have found that simply taking a moment to look at computer generated image of an urban green roof can restore focus and improve performance of tasks.   This adds to the growing body of evidence that shows that exposure to nature has multiple cognitive, emotional and health benefits.

It doesn’t take much. In the case of this study, it took a 40 second break of looking at a computer generated greened roof top.

In short, don’t keep yourself isolated from nature.  Heck, even ‘artificial’ images were beneficial, so put some pictures and plants around if you have no windows. (It can’t hurt 🙂 )

It’s a simple and effective way to recharge!

 

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Posted in creativity, health, problem solving, Sustainability, Wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Want to be More Creative? Change the Lighting

Posted by Plish on September 27, 2013

Posted in Creative Environments, Creative Thinking Techniques, creativity, Creativity Videos, culture of innovation, Design, innovation, Innovation Tools, problem solving, Research, The Senses, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creativity, Innovation and Chemistry Sets

Posted by Plish on August 4, 2012

I fondly remember my chemistry set.  Actually I had a couple of different types of sets, one was chemistry based, another was geology based and the third had a biological theme.  Nevertheless, my memories go back to my chemistry set and the wonders of phenolphthalein solution.  Changing solutions from pink to clear and back again, it was magical.

I performed countless other experiments but in particular,  I remember my attempt at re-creating a mini-scale ‘Hindenburg’ in my garage.  It created a glorious flame but since the shell was a rubber balloon, it took less than a second and it was gone…

I came across this article bemoaning the disappearance of chemistry sets – something I’ve often personally pondered as well while walking down the aisles of hobby stores.  As the article points out, chemistry sets are about more than chemistry.

Chemistry sets promote behaviors that are key to creative thinking, key to innovating.

  1. Combination is king – By combining two or more things we create something brand new.
  2. Experimentation is queen – What if I try mixing that with this, what will happen? What if I change the ratio, will it still work?
  3. Getting beyond the failure – Sometimes experiments don’t give the results we expected.  What went wrong?
  4. Actions in science have consequences – Yes, even with chemistry sets people can get hurt and property damaged.  Think and be safe!
  5. It’s nothing if it’s not fun – This is obvious but often ignored.

I sometimes wonder if there is a correlation between lack of chemistry sets and the seeming decline in innovative thinking in the US.

What do you think?

Posted in Brain Stimulation Tools, children, Creative Environments, creativity, culture of innovation, Design, innovation, Innovation Tools, Nature of Creativity, Play, problem solving, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New, Transparent Paint to Create Whiteboards…Anywhere…

Posted by Plish on May 23, 2012

 

A few years back, I blogged about IdeaPaint’s Whiteboard paint.

Now they’ve gone one glorious step further:

CLEAR Whiteboard Paint!

That is correct.  You don’t have to change the colors of your walls, or any other surfaces, for that matter.  Just cover them with this transparent, writable glaze and you’re ready to go.

There really is no excuse for not having a whiteboard space.

Thank you, IdeaPaint!

Posted in Creative Environments, culture of innovation, idea generation, imagination, Sketching, Traditional Brainstorming, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Warning: Open Plan Offices Are Hazardous To Your Health

Posted by Plish on January 13, 2009

Open Office Layout (courtesy of turbosquid.com)

Open Office Layout (courtesy of turbosquid.com)

 There is something appealing in open floor plans.  The soaring ceilings and open layout scream creative collaboration.  While research shows that higher ceilings are more conducive to blue-sky type creativity, this meta-study shows that any collaborative benefits come with a very hefty price.

Ninety percent of the studies reported major negatives of the open layout such as:

  • Increased turnover
  • Higher stress levels
  • Higher blood pressure
  • More interpersonal conflicts
  • Higher levels of insecurity
  • Higher noise levels which leads to:
    • Impaired concentration
    • Lower productivity
  • Easier germ transmission
  • Loss of personal identity
  • Lower job satisfaction

For comparison, it might be worth looking at Mark Twain’s perspectives on his writing hutch here.

 

The Writing Hut of Mark Twain (courtesy of workalicious.org)

The Writing Hut of Mark Twain (courtesy of workalicious.org)

So how might we get collaboration without sacrificing health?

One way would be to place a kitchen or inviting communal area in the office that people would naturally congregate around during the course of a day. 

What would you propose?

Posted in Creative Environments, Health Concerns, Nature of Creativity, Research, stress, The Human Person, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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