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Creativity & Coronavirus Lockdown

Is Creativity Determined by Physical Space?

Will a worldwide lockdown, hamper your creativity?

Many of us are fortunate to work in office spaces that are designed to bring out creativity. Some offices make their physical spaces colourful & entertaining while others enforce different practices to break the monotony such a ‘Casual Fridays’ or scheduled brainstorming sessions. So, what happens when we don’t have access to these? Do we suddenly become less creative?  Will a worldwide lockdown, hamper your creativity? We at The Spaceship Design, share a few observations.

The Fear of Being Bored:  Almost always, the first reaction to the thought of being home all the time is ‘what will I do all day?’ Even those who are fortunate enough to be able to work from home, have this reaction. There is an underlying feeling that being in the same physical space, not meeting different people and doing the same things every day will lead to boredom and this is something we all fear.

However, we really may not need to fear this. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that boredom might actually boost creativity. Surprised? Well, think about it. Have you ever noticed how children manage to invent their own games, from the simplest household items? To imagine a box as a fort is a simple example of creativity.

Alright, maybe you don’t want to play childish games but boredom can help adults as well. When a person is bored, their mind seeks more engaging activities. Notice the number of innovative things people are coming up with during this period of lockdown. From social media memes, to online classes & community initiatives, everybody on some level is thinking of something new & creative. And you can too.

The problem with us is that we fear boredom too much. The moment we begin to feel it, we distract ourselves with our gadgets.  This makes us shut down any deeper thought process. Rather than directly eliminating boredom, we need to allow our minds to wrestle it a bit.

So, is boredom the route to creativity? Well yes & no. For boredom to be effective we need to keep it in check. Too much boredom can make you feel hopeless, tired and indifferent and that defeats the purpose. So while it’s good to day-dream a little, don’t let it pull you down.

The Fear of losing Creativity: We all know that the more experiences we have, the more perspectives we gain, and this could make us more creative. But during a lockdown, there aren’t many opportunities for new experiences and so many people feel they will lose their creativity.

This fear raises the question of whether creativity is inherited or learnt.  And while psychologists continue to debate and study this, we as lay people can make one simple observation; creativity needs to be practiced. As long as your mind is active, you don’t need to worry about losing your creativity. Even if it’s something as simple as finding a more efficient way to do the dishes, that’s still creativity. Also most of us are fortunate enough to have technology at our disposal. This allows us to communicate with others, learn new things and all-in-all keep our minds working.  

Creativity will thrive with Social Isolation:  There are those who believe that this time will result in new inventions & discoveries across the world, and perhaps it will. But where do these beliefs come from? And could you and I also invent something new?

One reason for this line of thought is the examples of creative thinkers we have. Mozart, Einstein, Picasso and so on, all give the impression that isolating oneself leads to some of the greatest creative works in history. However, this doesn’t explain the picture entirely.

Studies have found that for an idea to be generated, one needs to understand their surroundings. For example, if you want to be an innovative artist, you must first understand what already exists in the world of art. Only then can you make it better. Similarly, one cannot solve a problem without understanding properly what it is and why it exists. So, to generate an idea, you need to interact with the world around you.

Once the idea is formed, social isolation will help you develop it. Isolation helps the mind process the idea better without distraction. It is for this reason that creative geniuses sometimes isolate themselves.

What Does This Mean for You? Now most of you must be wondering what happens if you didn’t have a brilliant idea before the lockdown? How will you develop it? From what we at The Spaceship Design understand, there is nothing to worry about. If you really want to build a ground-breaking idea, use your past experience and knowledge. These are your tools. And for those who just want to get through lockdown with a positive mindset, remember all you have to do is exercise your mind and allow it to rest as well! Stay home & stay creative!

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