Messiness and Creativity

September , 2013

A very interesting article entitled “It’s not ‘Mess.’  It’s Creativity.” recently appeared in the New York Times Sunday Review.  It quotes from studies showing that people put in a messy room tend to choose options labeled ‘new’ over options labeled ‘classic’.  They also, while not necessarily having more ideas, were found to have better ideas (that is, more ideas scored by the judges as “highly creative”).

This isn’t necessarily a new idea, though these particular studies may be new.  What it makes me think of is that every time I have moved into a new cubicle or office for work, I have been covering the walls with a selection of pictures, quotes, drawings and other things that I found inspiring or beautiful or interesting to look at.  This results in a sort of mosaic effect, so that everywhere you rest your eyes, there is something different to look at.

Based on this research, I now wonder if all these years I have been self seeding my creative process by doing this.

What do you do that engenders messiness and creativity in your work life?