Perspectives on Creativity From an Engineer

In doing research on what the consensus is for when creativity peaks, I ran into this article by Joseph Berk, an engineer. Joseph offered a different perspective on creativity than Ken Robinson. Robinson, as well as many other people that I have featured on this blog, have stated that creativity is essentially one’s ability to connect the dots and come up with something new from those connections. Joseph Berk laments that “most new designs are evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. They are improvements or modifications of other designs, rather than completely new concepts. They involve applications of other mechanisms and concepts, rather than completely new things.”

Isn’t this the “connecting the dots” that Robinson and others have talked about? Berk is not arguing that it isn’t, nor is he saying that this isn’t a type of creativity. He is lamenting that there isn’t more original work coming out of the world of engineering.  He faults the rules, regulations, and other constructs of society and the natural world that essentially put an engineer in a box and do not allow them to come up with original ideas of their own, simply because they are busy trying to conform to those rules.

The article is an interesting read, and another piece in the puzzle of creativity.

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