Monday, September 12, 2011

Creativity and the Human Response

September 2011 Book Reviews

A Whole New Mind
I loved Daniel Pink’s Drive and I have to say this book was a good read as well.  He theorizes the value of right-brained (creative) thinking in the new world economy.  I found it extremely interesting and I’ve seen how they can be huge difference makers in our extremely competitive business climate.
"creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.  These people-artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers-will now reap society’s rewards and share its greatest joys.”
“Both sides work together-but they have different specialties.  The left hemisphere handles logic, sequence, literalness, and analysis.  The right takes care of synthesis, emotional expression, context, and the big picture.”
Pink touches on the evolution of our society through the ages: from Agricultural, Industrial and Informational, to what he now calls Conceptual.  He outlines the six most important areas to master in this new age: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.

Here are a few quotes from each of the Six Senses outlined:
Design“Design is a classic whole-minded aptitude.  It is a combination of utility and significance.  A graphic designer must whip up a brochure that is easy to read.  That’s utility.  But at its most effective, her brochure must also transmit ideas or emotions that the words themselves cannot convey.  That’s significance.”
Story“When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable.  What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.”
Symphony“It is the capacity to synthesize rather than analyze; to see relationships between seemingly unrelated fields; to detect broad patterns rather than to deliver specific answers; and to invent something new by combining elements nobody else thought to pair.”
Empathy“Empathy is neither a deviation from intelligence nor the single route to it.  Sometimes we need detachment; many other times we need attunement.  And the people who will thrive will be those who can toggle between the two.”
Play “Invention and play often have much in common.  The best inventors are playful.  The best players are inventive.”
Meaning(Compared to search for cheese in a maze) “It’s more like walking a labyrinth, where the purpose is the journey itself.”
After reading this book, I may want to reconsider renaming this site to “The Fightin’ Synthesist.”

The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:

out of five stars

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

Every once in a while I take a gamble on a book that hasn’t received many online reviews and this one blew me away.  Using multiple research resources, the author connects how people see, read, remember, think, focus their attention, get motivated, socialize, feel, make mistakes, and decide with the world of design (or in a broader sense, with communications).  This books findings and implications make it a must read for designers, web developers, and anyone in the advertising, sales or communications.  I know I’ll reference this book a lot moving forwarding.
 The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:
out of five stars