Author(s): Kyna Leski
Although each instance of creativity is singular and specific, Kyna Leski tells us, the creative process is universal. Artists, architects, poets, inventors, scientists, and others all navigate the same stages of the process in order to discover something that does not yet exist. All of us must work our way through the empty page, the blank screen, writer's block, confusion, chaos, and doubt. In this book, Leski draws from her observations and experiences as a teacher, student, maker, writer, and architect to describe the workings of the creative process. Leski sees the creative process as being like a storm; it slowly begins to gather and take form until it overtakes us -- if we are willing to let it. It is dynamic, continually in motion; it starts, stops, rages and abates, ebbs and flows. In illustrations that accompany each chapter, she maps the arc of the creative process by tracing the path of water droplets traveling the stages of a storm. Leski describes unlearning, ridding ourselves of preconceptions; only when we realize what we don't know can we pose the problem that we need to solve. We gather evidence -- with notebook jottings, research, the collection of objects -- propelling the process. We perceive and conceive; we look ahead without knowing where we are going; we make connections. We pause, retreat, and stop, only to start again. To illustrate these stages of the process, Leski draws on examples of creative practice that range from Paul Klee to Steve Jobs, from the discovery of continental drift to the design of Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. Creativity, Leski tells us, is a path with no beginning or end; it is ongoing. This revelatory view of the creative process will be an essential guide for anyone engaged in creative discovery. The Creative ProcessUnlearningProblem MakingGathering and TrackingPropellingPerceiving and ConceivingSeeing AheadConnectingPausingContinuing
Kyna Leski is Professor in the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design and a Founding Principal of 3six0 Architecture. An internationally recognized leader at the intersection of design and technology, John Maeda is Design Partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley. He served until 2014 as the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and before that was Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is a designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM with the addition of the arts. He is the author of Design by Numbers (1999), The Laws of Simplicity (2006) and Redesigning Leadership (2011), all published by The MIT Press.