Browsing by Subject "creativity"

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  • Österberg, PhD, Peter; Köping Olsson, Bengt (2021)
    Schools are institutions responsible for teaching children new skills and knowledge, the ability to think about future targets, and, when problems become complex, how to apply explorative thinking and inborn creativity to solve them. Even so, scholars point to the fact that school curriculums do not support ways to facilitate explorative learning or creativity for problem-solving. To successfully devise solutions never considered before, children need support with programs enabling them to facilitate openness for experience intellectually. This study suggests that dance activities should become regular in the curriculum as a strategy for maintaining schoolchildren’s cognitive flexibility.
  • Solitander, Nikodemus (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    Economics and Society - 229
    The thesis focuses on one of the most dominant articulations of the relation between geographical place and development, clusters - internationally competing place-bound economic system of production in related industries. The dominant articulation of cluster discourse represents the subnational region as a system of production, and as a means for competitiveness for Western countries. Its reproduction in theories has become one of the most prolific exports of economic geography to other disciplines and for policymaking. By analysing cluster discourse the thesis traces how the languages and processes of globalization have over time altered the understandings of the relation between geographical place and the economy. It shows how in its latest incarnation of the cluster discourse, the language of mainstream economics is combined with ‘softer’ elements (e.g. community, learning, creativity) in the economic geographic discourse. This is typical for the idea of soft capitalism, wherein it is assumed that economic success emanates from soft characteristics, such as knowledge, learning and creativity, rather than straightforward technological or cost advantages. A reoccurring critique against the dominant understanding of the relationship between competitiveness and regions, as articulated in cluster discourse, has pinpointed the perspective’s inability to reconcile the respective and reciprocal roles of local standard of living with firm competitiveness. The thesis traces how such critique is increasingly appropriated through the fusion of the economic, social and cultural landscape into the language of capitalism. It shows how cluster discourse has appropriated its critique, by focusing on creativity, with its strong associations to arts, individual artists and the cultural sphere in general, while predominantly creating its meaning in relation to competitiveness. The thesis consists of six essays that each outlines the development of the cluster discourse. The essays show how meaning systems and strategies are created, accepted and naturalized in cluster discourse, how this affects individuals, the economic landscape and society at large, as well as showing which understandings are marginalized in the process. The thesis argues that clusters are a) inseparable from ideology and politics and b) they are the result of purposeful social practice. It calls for increased reflexivity within corporate and economic geographic research on clusters, and underlines the importance of placing issues of power at the centre of analysis.
  • Tirri, Kirsi; Cho, Seokhee; Ahn, Doehee; Campbell, James R. (2017)
  • Heiskanen, Mikko (Helsingfors universitet, 2008)
    This work studied the creative process of musicians. The subject was chosen partly due to the attention given to creativity in social discussion. The approach was material-based, because during the work it became clear that the theoretical models describing the creative process in general did not provide adequate tools for the examination of musical creation. In this study, the creative process was defined as a process, which generated a work found by the musician novel to him or her. There were two principal research questions: 1) How does the creative process of musicians progress? 2) What makes a process creative? The main emphasis was on the first question, because the study aimed at modeling the creative process of musicians. The material for this study was collected by interviewing five professional musicians, each qualified by an expert of music to be creative. The interviews were thematically linked with each musician's recently implemented creative process. The work generated in the process was used as a stimulant in the interview. The main themes of the interview dealt with the musician's concrete action, cognitive functioning and affective experience during the process. Secondary themes included his or her goals as well as the factors that enhanced or inhibited the process. A material-based analysis was made of the interviews. The conceptualization and modelling of the creative process was founded on a phenomenological-hermeneutic interpretation. In addition to the primary interviews, also supplementary interviews were made in order to ensure that the description of the musician was understood correctly. Further supplementary interviews were made when the material was analyzed and results were deduced. This aimed at increasing the reliability of interpretations and conclusions. The study resulted in a four-level model representing the progress of a creative process. The levels were defined by means of the conception of state. The levels used in defining the process were 1) the state determining the potential of the process, 2) the state delimiting the process, 3) the state orienting the process, and 4) the state determined by the process. The progress of the process was described as changes taking place in the state. It was discovered that the factors having an effect on the creativity of the process were the dynamism of the process, the musician's work in relation to his or her inner standard and the impulses that caused variation in the musician's thinking. The interview method used in this study proved to be a very suitable tool in an examination of a creative process. Thus it may well be applicable in other research contexts associated with creative processes. The outcome of this study, the model of the progress of a creative process, should also provide a feasible basis for the examination of different kinds of creative processes. It enables a comprehensive examination of a creative process, simultaneously justifying the dynamic nature of the process.
  • Purasmaa, Marika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Purpose of this masters’s thesis is to find and describe pedagogical elements of the studio practices at the Faculty of Fashion, Clothing and Textile, at the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. The focus is on renewed textile design education, especially in The Woven Fabrics Studio practices. Another aim is to examine the pedagogical views behind the main findings. The studio pedagogy is theoretically approached by R. Keith Sawyer’s (2018) research and the studio model, which is a cultural model of teaching and learning at the schools of art and design. Another theoretical frame is conducted from the field of materiality and the theory of embodied cognition, which can explain the importance of material explorations. The studio pedagogy has indicated to have remarkable benefits in design education by mastering creativity, and it could offer potential ideas extended to other school levels as well. In present study, I also summon an overview about the requirements needed from the operational unit, as offering studio pedagogy needs special arrangements. The ethnographic data is collected from the semi-structured theme interviews of the five professionals, deeply involved in design pedagogy at the faculty. In addition, two short observation phases were conducted at the weave studio and at the fabric print studio. The qualitative content analysis is done as theory and data-driven analysis. According to the results, one of the most distinct pedagogical element are the design assignments, that are based on the students’ individual concept and visual research, before going further with the material explorations at the studios. Lots of time and effort is put on this very early phase of the design process, and it is seen to lead originality and innovative results. The assignments include always both the artistic and technical sides, which is found effective and convenient way of learning. Processes such as creative and learning processes are seen the most important learning outcome. Preparing students to become design professionals, project management skills are practiced with advanced courses including lots of independent work. The Woven Fabric Studio courses are often intensive few week modules, which are available also for students from other faculties. Studio masters’ role is crucial at daily studio work. In addition to proper learning environments and up-to-date facilities, studio pedagogy requires great amount of resources, scheduling, pedagogical visions, and engagement. Learner-centerness and social aspects of learning are strongly emphasized, and many voluntary multidisciplinary projects are offered.
  • Lehtonen, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how a poetic metaphor challenges our common sense notions about the world (the estrangement effect) and enables unorthodox ways of thinking and acting (creative imagination). In the study, I will compare and evaluate theories that investigate the role that metaphor has in lived human experience. All the theories discussed share the view that metaphor is epistemologically important for humans. Two different characterisations of this epistemic importance can be identified: 1) the cognitive view, which emphasises the role of metaphor in unconscious, prelinguistic and embodied thought; 2) the pragmatic and phenomenological view of metaphor as a creative activity, a re-imagining of experience and a communicative phenomenon. Defending the latter position, I argue that metaphor has epistemic value, but not because metaphor serves as a cognitive foundation for shared human knowledge, but because it is a creative human pursuit of imagining new possibilities and ways of being. I will criticise the cognitive metaphor theory (CMT), as proposed by Lakoff and Johnson, which holds that metaphors are the foundation of human thought and reasoning. This position advocates ideas about global and fixed ways of interpreting metaphor. As such, it fails to explain novel poetic or scientific metaphors, but fairs better with common everyday metaphors, which already have fixed meanings. I will argue that the existence of universal cognitive metaphors is highly doubtful. As an alternative to the problematic framework of the cognitive metaphor theory, I propose pragmatic and phenomenological theories. The pragmatic view of metaphor, proposed by Davidson and Rorty, succeeds better at describing the experience which a novel metaphor incites in the reader. This position suggests that metaphor has an effect, which cannot be explained by extension of a word’s meaning. Metaphor is a linguistic stimulus, which forces the reader to do some creative guesswork about its intention and meaning. Metaphor has pragmatic potential, because it motivates human innovation and discovery. The phenomenological position, espoused by Ricoeur, describes the sense of wonder and excitement that living metaphor evokes in us. This view suggests that metaphorical estrangement is closely aligned with the phenomenological method of epoché, suspension of everyday judgment. Ricoeur suggests that poetic metaphor, similar to the epoché, can help us distance ourselves from the natural attitude and reveal novel ontological possibilities for humans. Despite their differences, both the pragmatist and the phenomenological position characterise metaphor as a creative use of language and arrive at similar conclusions. Committing metaphoric acts has positive consequences because metaphors motivate critical thought, prompt self-reflection and re-evaluation of our previous thought, and enable creative problem solving, speculation and invention.
  • Jekunen, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In my Master’s thesis, I offer a novel interpretation of Gilles Deleuze’s (1925-1995) conception of transcendent thinking. As a first approximation, transcendent thinking is an unconscious disruption of quotidian thinking (i.e. empirical thinking). Deleuze’s conception is an important attempt at explaining the emergence of thought from material reality. Additionally, it offers insights into the conditions of creating something new in thinking. In Deleuze’s account, these two are closely connected. My interpretation is mainly based on Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1968), but I also draw from Deleuze’s other works and philosophers he discusses. Deleuze’s reading of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is important for my interpretation. I proceed by close readings of Deleuze and compare my interpretations to others from secondary literature. My thesis is divided into five chapters and I begin by introducing my reading of the relevant features of Deleuze’s overall project in Difference and Repetition. In chapter one, I introduce Deleuze’s novel philosophy of difference. According to Deleuze, all continuity we experience is constituted by the interplay of internal difference and hidden repetition. In chapter two, I introduce the relevant features of Deleuze’s ontological scheme in Difference and Repetition. According to it, actual objects are constituted through the process of different/ciation; two figures of internal difference, the differential relations of virtual Ideas and intensive differences, produce the actual objects we perceive in our experience. Situating Deleuze’s transcendent thinking into his overall project is necessary to interpret it correctly and to grasp its significance. Next, I interpret what Deleuze means by thinking. In chapter three, I read Immanuel Kant’s (1724–1804) determining judgment (e.g. “This is a dog”) as providing a case of Deleuze’s empirical thinking. This kind of thinking is what human subjects experience in the quotidian. However, transcendent thinking goes beyond empirical thinking. In chapter four, I show how transcendent thinking is comprised of a series of encounters where the different faculties (i.e. cognitive capabilities) of the thinker are elevated to their transcendent exercise. This series starts as sensibility encounters sensible intensity and it continues as subsequent faculties are traversed by a virtual Idea. In these encounters, the faculties confront their internal differences, which reveal their limits and what is most singular to them. However, intermediary encounters do not correspond to any conscious empirical experiences, nor does the whole of transcendent thinking either. In the final chapter of my Master’s thesis, I begin by arguing that my interpretation ameliorates on previous readings. First, it reveals that transcendent thinking is a case of different/ciation unravelling through the faculties of a psychic system. Second, my reading distinguishes between empirical thinking and transcendent thinking—both being kinds of thinking, for Deleuze. Third, it clarifies that learning is an instance of transcendent thinking (not vaguely thinking in general). Next, I discuss how transcendent thinking reveals the possibility of creation in thinking. Empirical thinking is incapable of change because in it, the faculties function according to the model of recognition: the thinker only recognizes what is already known using pregiven concepts. Transcendent thinking, as a case of different/ciation progressing through the faculties, changes the faculties and, in doing so, transforms the composition of the psychic system. This process is carried out on the level of being and results in something new emerging in thinking. However, transcendent thinking is involuntary and unconscious, leaving the conception of creative agency in Difference and Repetition restricted.
  • Polynczuk, Kinga Natalia (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This qualitative study adopts netnographic method to critically explore one of the social media, Pinterest, as a creative community for women. Creativity is not only a current buzzword, but also one of the most fundamental pillars of the modern world. Nowadays, creative industries are emerging as a one of the basic industries. In many instances, creativity becomes a professional currency and a foundation of identity. In addition, creativity becomes embedded into everyday life, also through the advancement and continuous use of social media and other digital platforms that lower the threshold for participation in creative activities. Thus, the meaning of creativity is constantly being altered. In this thesis, the concept of creativity describes in fact everyday creativity in its broadest delineation. This research focuses particularly on the act of providing media content to Pinterest, thereby creating unique collections of visual links. Community, in turn, translates into a group of people who participate in some online spaces, gathered primarily around some shared interest. Such an understanding of community does not imply the existence of any offline ties between its members. Within this framework, the research asks the major question about how creativity is mediated on Pinterest. The main question is followed by some more detailed sub-questions about affordances and constraints of Pinterest with regard to production, distribution and consumption of the content; the relations between creativity and consumption on Pinterest; and the ways in which the community of Pinterest is constructed. The research results in five major results: (1) on Pinterest, DIY and Crafts is an overarching category, embracing diverse and, at times, unconventional content; (2) Pinterest challenges and alters traditional understandings of creativity and creative activities in such a way that it does not call for any physical act of making; (3) creativity on Pinterest is intertwined with, and very often anchored in, consumption; (4) on Pinterest, crafts refer not only to creating external objects, but also to modelling bodies and forming skill sets of users; (5) creativity is a binder of the Pinterest community: it brought pinners together in the joint effort of pooling knowledge, and it was the ideal that each user seemed to connect with. The study is based on the volume of data obtained from Pinterest through participant observation. Participant observation, adapted to the circumstances of an online setting, is the core netnographic method of data collection. The data at hand were analysed through thematic analysis.