dyad of
INNOVATION

The creative flow of a programme is akin to the flow of a river and its tributaries. Just like a river can become stagnant, so too can the course. Managing its (creative) 'flow' requires immense deftness, for the river is alive and its course is shaped in practice. Too much control, will stifle it; while at times, gentle nudges may just meander it in the right direction. Sometimes, it may be able to correct course on its own, and it may be best to do nothing!

Flow is a process of emergence; of immersion in the vast and deep waters of learning. Both tutors and students are witnesses to this flow. To be in a state of flow46 requires the student to be immersed in their learning, and to find it not only purposeful or meaningful, but also enjoyable. A key characteristic of this immersion is play. The act of play requires, or is accompanied by, deep focus - to be completely absorbed in a task, while simultaneously experiencing immense delight in this engrossment. Playfulness has several characteristics, chief among them are flexibility or adaptability and curiosity. Freedom (of exploration) and flexibility have to be built into the everyday learning experience. Play involves letting go of fear and hesitancy; crucial to the act of creation.

In acts of creation, the student often aspires to design or make something original or novel. This is a difficult, but surmountable task. Ideas need to brew in one's mind. Related, and more importantly, unrelated thoughts or ideas need to interact with each other, sometimes for extended periods of fallow time. This is when a 'reaction' occurs, the outcome of which is an association between entities that were hitherto seen unrelated47. These associations are formed when ideas are free to interact with each other, without the watchful and over cautious eye of the mind.

  1. read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990).
  2. read P. Lloyd and D. Snelders in What was Philippe Starck thinking of? (2003).