In the second chapter of his book Imagine: How Creativity Works, author Jonah Lehrer focuses on the conditions under which good ideas materialize. I am very interested in this topic, both as an educator and as an individual. As a teacher I would like to set up a classroom environment that allow students to come up with their own good ideas. As an individual I want to increase my chances of arriving at my own good ideas. The biggest take-away from this chapter is that insight often comes when you’re not looking for it – it takes a relaxed state (when daydreaming, for instance) for your brain to be able to make the connections that lead to insight.
One idea from this chapter that I have been thinking a lot about lately is conceptual blending. I find intriguing the concept that originality is nothing more than the combination of previously disconnected ideas. It was reading about this concept that led me to start a new project: One Card One Concept. The purpose of this project is twofold: 1) capture individual ideas in a visual way; 2) provide the necessary conditions for conceptual blending to occur. I have this theory that by parsing out individual ideas, it will be easier to blend those ideas in the future in a way that leads to new insight or at least new perspective.