This is a short story on thinking outside the box. In a physics exam at the University of Copenhagen, the students were asked how to measure the height of a skyscraper using a barometer. One of the students suggested that you go up on the rooftop, tie a string to the barometer and lower it down to the ground and then measure the length of the string. The professor gave the student zero points on the question with reference to the fact that with his answer he did not demonstrate any knowledge of physics.The student complained with the motivation that the answer was obviously correct and, after some arguments, he was given the opportunity to provide an alternative solution to the problem.
I början av mitt eget kreativa utforskande återkom jag ständigt till frågan vad det egentligen är att vara kreativ. Går det att definiera en viss kreativ förmåga? Det finns ju så många kreativa personer – uppfinnare, musiker, konstnärer – så det borde ju gå att borra sig ner till en gemensam nämnare, den magiska silverkulan, en förmåga som är gemensam för alla kreativa människor.
At the beginning of my own creative exploration, I constantly returned to the question what it really is to be creative. Is it possible to define a certain creative ability? There are so many highly creative people – inventors, musicians, artists – so it should be possible to drill down to a common denominator, the magic silver bullet, a creative ability common to all creative human beings. But the more I learned about the different aspects of creativity, the more I realised that this was a side-track. There is not a single creative ability but a whole row of them, and it’s only when several of these interact and reinforce each other as we really can utilise our full creative potential.