Chapter 1: Prologue
Creativity made the world we live in. If everything not produced by the creative mind was taken away, we would ﬁnd ourselves standing naked in a primeval forest. Every culture and civilization is deﬁned by the creative heritage passed down to it.1 1.1 Creativity ‘Creativity’ is a popular word these days. ‘Créativité’ did not appear in Francophone countries until after World War Two.2 The same is true of other languages. The English word, ‘creativity’ was very rarely used before the war. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, it made its ﬁrst appearance in an 1875 book about dramatic literature, in reference to Shakespeare. Alfred North Whitehead used the word in the 1920s speaking of God.3 Older texts relied on words such as ‘imagination’, ‘invention’, ‘discovery’ and ‘genius’ instead. The use of the word ‘creativity’ has grown exponentially. A Google search generates almost half a billion hits for ‘creativity’ and ‘creative’. Research on various types of creativity has blossomed. What lies behind these changes? Two 1 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 1 16/11/2011 14:10 2 The geography of creativity interpretations, which are complementary rather than mutually exclusive, come to mind. The more frequent use of the word ‘creativity’ is linked to general social and economic transformation. Skills that we now associate with creativity were once consigned to the realms of philosophy and art. Innovative ability is nowadays regarded as a key source of productivity that pervades the expanding knowledge-based economy and requires marketable new skills. ‘Creativity’ has...
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