The Geography of Creativity
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The Geography of Creativity

Gunnar Törnqvist

What is creativity and who exactly is creative? In this insightful and highly readable book, Gunnar Törnqvist attempts to answer these questions by arguing that geographical millieux are hotbeds for creativity and renewal – places where pioneers in art, technology and science have gathered and developed their special abilities.
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Chapter 3: Person

Gunnar Törnqvist


Who is creative? There are many answers to this question, which can be placed on a scale between two poles. At one pole is the idea that almost everyone has creative abilities. At the other pole is the view that only a few people are genuinely creative. Clarification of the differences between creativity and qualities such as efficiency, productivity, skill and intelligence is needed before the question can be properly addressed. 3.1 The creative child If creativity refers to the ability to solve problems, including those that arise in everyday life, everyone has such abilities. Furthermore, practice and training can lead to improvement. But if imagination, fantasy, flexibility and originality are seen as essential to solving problems, psychological interviews, tests and experiments have demonstrated that the number of people who qualify quickly declines. Methods have been designed that permit basic types of creativity to be measured and quantified.1 Creativity is based on innate genetic characteristics that are moulded early in life, perhaps starting in the womb. The preschool years are important to 17 M2809 - TORNQVIST 9781781001509 PRINT.indd 17 16/11/2011 14:10 18 The geography of creativity the development of creativity. Homo ludens is the Latin term for ‘man the player’ (the child). Some people may maintain that playfulness throughout life. Studies have shown that children often exhibit creative abilities before starting school. Creativity frequently peaks at the age of six. Playfulness and imagination then often wane. Creativity spurts again in the prepubescent years.2 Childrearing and the...

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