The What framework: the market crate
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The What? starts by challenging the creative mantra of ‘thinking outside the box’, arguing instead in support of Margaret Boden’s theory that creative thinking works within a bounded conceptual space, stretching those boundaries and ultimately transforming them. Thinking outside the box might result in what Boden dismissed as ‘mere novelty’. Addressing and eventually transforming the conceptual space means our novel ideas can have deeper value and purpose. So, instead of a box, the ‘bounded conceptual space’ for this chapter is a framework called The Crate. And rather than thinking outside the box, we prefer the metaphor of ‘pushing the envelope’. We consider pushing the sides of The Crate of creative ingredients in four directions: 1) Outwards: Incorporating different ingredients; looking to do different with diversity. 2) Rightwards: Gathering additional or abundant ingredients; going beyond what is expected. 3) Inwards: Exploring traditional/authentic approaches but in new ways; reinventing traditions, with a twist. 4) Leftwards: Embracing frugality and using fewer ingredients; using less to do different. We explain how these different directions can work, illustrating with six examples or ‘recipes’ that can be inspire readers to develop their own adaptations • the invention of the lightbulb by Thomas Edison and the often overlooked contribution by the black inventor Lewis Latimer, highlighting the importance of diversity of people to achieve diversity of thought; • the Royal Shakespeare Company’s reimagining of Romeo and Juliet for Twitter, showing how digital abundance can open new ways of thinking about classical drama • the Young Vic Theatre’s ‘Classics for a New Climate’, using another form of abundance - collaborative networks - to solve problems of sustainability and carbon emissions in theatres; • Peaches Barkowitz’s invention of the double-handed backhand in tennis, showing how ‘pushing in’ to our own practices and limitations can help us reinvent a formula with a different twist; • Jugaad and Jua Kali, where poverty and scarcity in India and Kenya have led to creative improvisations using found materials, an approach imitated by other businesses as ‘frugal innovation’ or ‘lean’ manufacturing; • Ofo Bikes in China, where entrepreneurs used the low quality bicycles abandoned by students to launch a ‘good enough’ bike-hire scheme in Beijing which has expanded worldwide.