Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class

Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class
Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class gives a very interesting look into the science behind creativity and a thorough understanding of the creative process. According to Florida, creativity is a cognitive ability separate from other mental functions and all aspects related to intelligence. Creative potential does benefit from intelligence though but creativity is still a capacity inherent to all but in varying degrees for each person.Creativity requires self-assurance and the ability to take risks, however, because people utilizing creativity are usually going up against orthodox ideas about things and are challenging the norm and receiving a lot of criticism for these innovations. One must be sure of their self to maintain belief in their innovation through all this criticism and must be willing to take a risk in introducing their product of creativity to the market in the face of all this criticism. Florida claims there are four steps to the creative process. The first is preparation in which the person intently studies the task at hand getting a good grasp of the concept in their mind. The next step is incubation which is still a relatively unknown process of how this works in the mind but what is known is that one must consciously and subconsciously study the concept in their mind. The next step is illumination in which the person sees a new synthesis for this concept. The final step is verification or revision which include all work after the illumination step. I found it interesting that creativity is largely based on experiences and creativity favors people with an intellect with diverse experiences and perspectives because of this. This is because creativity requires the synthesis of different perspectives to create something new and useful. I also found it interesting that many highly creative environments in the past such as China and the Islamic world have died out because of social and economic conditions and these places now are not thought of as creative and intellectual centers anymore. I also found the concept of New Growth Theory to be very interesting in that it is essentially the empowerment of every person through the power of ideas and intellectual property although this theory seems slightly optimistic when it is compared to Karl Marx's goal of the proletariat overthrowing the upper classes.

For the objective of our class in creating a garden for the blind I found the book Sensory Design by Joy Malnar and Frank Vodvarka to have more pertinent information than Florida's book did. Florida's book explains how we'll actually go about creating the garden in our mind but Sensory Design seemed to explain some of the ways design can affect the senses which is very important for a garden for the blind since we will have to stimulate the other senses strongly since one of the primarily used senses in sensing gardens, vision, is nonexistent. We begin our section of reading with a part about the differences in spatial areas such as the tsubonouchi and the roji in Japan. I found it extremely interesting in that the tsubonouchi and roji are different in that the former is meant to be perceived while at rest and the latter is meant to be seen while moving. I am not sure what would go into the separation of designs between these two areas but this gave me the idea that the garden should be separated into areas for each sense to be used. The example of the Japanese garden also made me consider that for sound one of those structures in Japanese gardens that collects water and then tips pouring all the water out could be very useful for sound since otherwise there might not be much sound in the garden. Malnar and Vodvarka also point out to us that fragrances can have direct effects upon emotions, especially through the evocation of pleasant memories. According to this book lemon and peppermint increase alertness and energy while lavender and cedar reduce tension. I was also surprised to read in this book that while the short term memory of smells may be very poor, the long term memory of smells is very good.

Reading the Dans le Noir website at www.danslenoir.fr didn't give me ideas as much as it helped me realize a main concern of this garden. If it is to be for the blind then they will have to be able to access it on their own if desired so there should be handrails throughout the garden for guidance and possibly a path from the main sidewalks at Hume with a handrail so they can find their way to and from the garden. I also saw somewhere on the website that people are not allowed to move without assistance from their waiter since that could cause problems for others there since things would be out of normal position. This made me realize that the garden would have to be well maintained because otherwise things would be out of place and unexpected possibly causing injury to the blind walking through.

For the overall garden design I believe that we should have a concrete path with handrail leading from the main sidewalks of Hume to the garden. The path for the garden should then be on a different surface than concrete to notify the blind of the change and also to keep them slightly more alert of their feet because of the slope of the ground behind Hume which could present problems if one is not properly orientated for walking at such an angle. All paths through the garden will have to have handrails as well. I thought it would also be good to divide up the garden into different areas stimulating senses such as haptic, gustation, and olfaction, since I believe these would be the main senses of stimulation from this garden. It is also possible that we could divide olfaction into different areas according to the effects of stimulation of these fragrances similar to Malnar and Vodvarka described with lemon, peppermint, lavender, and cedar. It might also be interesting to place Braille on handrail so that while guiding them self through the garden with the handrail they could also recognize what area they're in and utilize those senses, such as in the gustation area which they would have to be notified it is acceptable to reach out and eat off of the plant in front of them. We could also use small signs with Braille and give general locations of each of the plants they're observing to let them know where each is so they can reach for it and eat some of it.

Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class 6.8 of 10 on the basis of 1306 Review.