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To experiment and explore

Curiosity breeds creativity says professor of practice Tua Björklund.
Professor of practice Tua Björklund. Photo: Mortti Saarnia
Radical creativity comes from openly discussing and questioning assumptions, bringing in and appreciating diverse experiences, says professor of practice Tua Björklund. Photo: Mortti Saarnia

 

I focus on the human foundations for creative efforts. This means cultivating skills that are needed to create, champion and implement novel ideas, and shape organisations to bring out the best in people.

We can’t afford to rely on the lone innovator going against the grain – for sustainable radical creativity, we need to level the field for a team effort of diverse stakeholders.

On a practical level, this means piloting new forms of research, teaching and development at the Design Factory; exploring how universities can break down silos and act as hubs for co-creation.

Especially in engineering, creativity is very much tied to the possibility to prototype and explore ideas – in radical creativity.

It’s not just the thought that counts but how that thought can be cultivated further.

Aalto Design Factory
‘The Design Factory couldn’t have been created without passionate people across the university and industry believing in the value of bringing people together to experiment with half-formed ideas, says Tua Björklund.

Distinguishing between incremental improvements and ground-breaking innovations is easy in hindsight, but predicting the novelty and impact of ideas before-the-fact is not.

The “radicalness” in radical creativity comes from openly discussing and questioning assumptions, bringing in and appreciating diverse experiences, and giving breathing and testing room even for crazy ideas. As a result, we increase the odds of finding and being able to pull off truly novel solutions.

We need to make it easy to say yes to the first steps of exploring fragile new ideas and to showcase the variety of forms that creativity comes in to encourage new ideas.

Let’s experiment with new ways of empowering students and staff to make a difference in what they see as meaningful, while at the same time building a sum greater than its parts.

The most interesting thoughts, initiatives and projects on some level all come back to serendipitous encounters with open-minded people. Curiosity breeds creativity.

 

Tua Björklund
Professor of Practice, Design Factory
School of Engineering

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