How’s your office space? I’m in an exposed area surrounded by people. While I like these people, I don’t feel I have any sense of physical security. As an introvert, it’s also difficult to work in the presence of so many others. And as the article says, it’s hard to tune out since they work on dissimilar tasks. I loved working in the newsroom. It was easy to see how their work tied into mine.
We’re more creative in the dark.
Dimmer light and darkness helps creative performance. Darkness inspires feelings of freedom and encourages riskier behavior. Researchers published six studies on the effect of light. Four of the experiments linked darkness and dim illumination to more creative outcomes. The final two tests found connections between darkness and increased exploration. Other ways of encouraging feelings of freedom helped keep participants creative.
That matches my exploration style. I’m definitely a night owl. It’s not just the darkness. Night time feels more free from me. Generally I have less planned and less obligations later in the evenings. So that sparks the feelings of being able to do anything possible with my time. Researchers also found that imagining that you’re in the dark has similar results.
“Freedom from constraints: Darkness and dim illumination promote creativity” explains the details in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2013.
High ceilings spark the imagination.
“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly. They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics.”
Joan Meyers-Levy, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management (Science Daily)
Simply moving to a room with higher ceilings helps you think outside of the box. Meyers-Levy and Rui (Juliet) Zhu discuss in “The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use”
Privacy helps us think in new ways.
I’ve written before about how private spaces help many of us in our creative processes. We’re more likely to take risks when we mistakes aren’t public. Increased noise levels and physical health concerns come into play in shared spaces as well. We can take action to create space by taking walks and meditation,
One of the things I loved the culture and curriculum at Bowie State. For Fine and Performing Arts majors, we had to take courses on the history of people of color, women, subcultures. For a creative, surrounding yourself with as many different perspectives as possible. I attended Bowie State in the early 2000s. Imagine a time when Wikipedia was brand new. Information on minority history was difficult to find anywhere on the internet. The new Hip-Hop Minor offered at Bowie State will be a great opportunity to expand on the school's current academic focus: "Three new courses developed by Bowie ... Read more
If you know or care about something, you're in a position of authority and power. When feeling smart or passionate, folks often do think that gives them a pass to be a strong-willed. I’m sure I’ve done it too. When someone talks to me about design, art, or music, I have to choose to be happy that they’re engaging with me on a topic that I love. I’m best when I’m super encouraging about their quest for knowledge on the subject. Talk about an effort over outcomes. If not, they’ll hate that subject. They’ll hate how I deal with it. ... Read more
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.