The Creative Environment: How Environments Define Our Actions P.1

16 10 2007

This summer there was a fantastic exhibit at the Guggenheim called The Shapes of Space. It was essentially an exploration of integrating space as a component of design.

The picture above is of the first floor installation space where the floor was converted into a tapestry of LED tiles that pulsated to the rhythm of top 40s Hip Hop. If you continue along the spiraling pathway it takes you to a small observation area on the 2nd floor where you can view the installation from above. This is where I spent a good three hours on a sweltering summer afternoon just people watching.

This is what happened 90% of the time:

a. Someone walks into the installation space.

b. They look at the tiles.

c. They start to tap their feet to the music.

d. They look around.

e. Then they start to boogie out a little.

f. Then in one instant they stop, take a double take, and realize that they are in a museum.

Museum = No dancing, Speaking in murmurs, and showing off your artistic knowledge culled from highschool Art History to impress a date.

We are trained to behave in specific ways depending on our environment, which is why this scenario of nested conflicting environments is so difficult to process.

So what?

Well environments can also facilitate innovation and creative thinking. Especially, when you challenge your brain’s perceptions of what a specific space should be. Force yourself to be uncomfortable.

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