Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creativity and fear

So, let’s say that you are wealthy and rich, let’s imagine that you don’t have the necessity to generate any kind of income, you simply do not have to worry about it…well, then what would you do? … I assume that for some of you this will be the opportunity to fantasize with different kinds of luxury and excess, so there you go, do it, then try to think a bit more seriously about that, what would you do?

Excess of time, resources and idleness lead to inventions, that it’s not a secret, think about couture, fine arts and sports, they are products of a relatively secure community with enough money and resources. Take for example Stark’s “juicy salif” lemon squeezer, do you think this beautiful object but completely useless product could have been designed and manufactured in a marginal and poor community? I don’t think so, however this product is completely logical to picture it in the hands of a French designer and an Italian manufacturer.

If we understand security as the loss of preoccupation of a certain thing or matter, we can picture that there are different levels of security, it’s different to be afraid of finding where to pass the night than to be afraid of loosing an appointment with the manicurist. Sure that ironically both could cause the same amount of stress on certain people, but they sure have different consequences.

It is not a surprise that we live on societies with many, exaggerated or not, threats and fears; terrorism, global warming, natural catastrophes, crime, feeding, H1N1, global crisis… you name it, sure there is place for it.

However creation is everywhere, under stressful situations where only a limited amount of resources are available there is also a unique power for inventiveness and innovation, from simple hacks to revolutionary products and systems… We can find one recent popular example in the story of William Kamkwamba a young Malawian boy who found the way to design and build a windmill that generated electrical power for his house, William managed to write and publish his story in the book “The boy who harnessed the windmill”, now he is very popular and supported by all kinds of organizations (as you could imagine).

But this is not extraordinary, is a an everyday thing on many places in the world, one simple look at a Mexican village could give you a huge lesson on how to solve many problems with simple, yet extraordinary inventions.

Now that we are starting to feel the anguish and fear from the much commented war against the drug trafficking in Mexico and other, not less important, problems in our country such as lack of employment and a pretty mediocre education, we as creative people have to analyze where is our opportunity in all of these, where we can find a shifting point in order to change our environment.

Fear, lack of opportunities, violence, ignorance are also stimulants, let’s deal with it.