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Creative Practices Embodied, Embedded, and Enacted in Architectural Settings: Towards an Ecological Model of Creativity

By Laura Healey Malinin


Memoires by eminently creative people often describe architectural spaces and qualities they believe instrumental for their creativity. However places designed to encourage creativity have had mixed results, with some found to decrease creative productivity for users. This may be due, in part, to lack of suitable empirical theory or model to guide design strategies. Relationships between creative cognition and features of the physical environment remain largely uninvestigated in the scientific literature, despite general agreement among researchers that human cognition is physically and socially situated. This paper investigates what role architectural settings may play in creative processes by examining documented first person and biographical accounts of creativity with respect to three central theories of situated cognition. First, the embodied thesis argues that cognition encompasses both the mind and the body. Second, the embedded thesis maintains that people exploit features of the physical and social environment to increase their cognitive capabilities. Third, the enaction thesis describes cognition as dependent upon a person’s interactions with the world. Common themes inform three propositions, illustrated in a new theoretical framework describing relationships between people and their architectural settings with respect to different cognitive processes of creativity. The framework is intended as a starting point toward an ecological model of creativity, which may be used to guide future creative process research and architectural design strategies to support user creative productivity

Topics: Embodied Cognition, embedded cognition, affordances, Creativity., enactive cognition, Architecture and Design, Psychology, BF1-990
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01978
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:54806e904dc241a9864915707b417039
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