Welcome to Creativeville
In American schools, there are some very dedicated teachers who work tirelessly day in and day out to bring creative opportunities to students. They go the extra mile and invest personal time, energy and money to make their classrooms creative laboratories that nourish natural curiosity and inclinations. According to Sir Ken Robinson in a TED video called Do Schools Kill Creativity?, such creative classrooms are not available to every student. The American system on a whole is built on standardization with an emphasis on developing left-brain abilities in math and science. Linearity and conformity are valued. It is a system that worked in the 20th century. We are accustomed to it.
Unfortunately, that system has produced some unintended consequences. According to Robinson, such a system is impoverishing our creative spirits and energy just as we are entering a new global age of rapid change where left-brain capacities are easily outsourced to other countries. Twenty-first century professions are demanding creative visionaries who not only think outside the box but reinvent the box. How do we take control of our creative lives and nurture innovative thinking in our families?
I believe it all starts at home. Home should be a think tank to uncover innate gifts and experiment with the creative process. It should be a place to follow natural curiosity, gather information, brainstorm about interesting concepts, hone promising ideas that feel right, and discard ones that no longer serve. Let’s create beautiful, comfortable homes that nurture our creative spirits. Here are some ways to get started.
- Eclectic Collections: Unusual objects and collections spark creativity and nurture adaptable and flexible thinking. Connect to other cultures and unfamiliar ways by surrounding yourself with eclectic pieces in your home. Whether it is Turkish teapots, exotic birds, or campaign pins, follow your passion. Endless fun for the whole family.
- Interactive Surfaces: I love to incorporate oversized bulletin boards, whiteboards, or chalkboards into room designs. They are interactive surfaces for living that are beautiful too. Hang them over sofas, console tables, or sideboards. Prop them against walls. Use them to share crazy photos, new inventions, drawings, stories, ideas, poems, or world events. Get the whole family involved. Great backdrops powered by imagination.
- Containers: Containers are wonderful accessories for the home. My favorites are usually made of handwoven materials or stainless steel. They look great used in multiples on shelves. Oversized containers look fantastic by a hearth or under a sofa table. To make the most of containers, fill them up with thoughtful activities for the family. Not only are they striking to look at but they can nurture creative abilities and thinking too. Fill small ones with art supplies, magnets, favorite collections, etc.. Put costumes in large containers for impromptu plays. Lots of possibilities for fun.