Making Your Environment Inspirational
Can a person’s physical environment affect
Alex F. Osborn, a pioneer in the field of
deliberate creativity, believed the answer was a resounding “Yes.”
tends to sap imaginative strength in all except the few who work in the arts
and in creative phases of business and science,” he wrote in ‘Applied
Imagination: Principles and procedures
of Creative Problem-Solving,” first published in 1953.
the negative effects of this “urbanization,” Osborn challenged people to take
deliberate steps “to conserve and develop the imaginative talents with which we
step: Redesign and deinstitutionalize the work environment so that it fosters
long recognized that the external environment influences what goes on inside
the head,” said Gerald “Solutionman” Haman, a creativity expert based in
Chicago. Thousands of business people
who’ve visited Haman’s ‘Thinkubator” - a creative meeting space reminiscent of
a colorful kindergarten playroom stocked with adult-size gadgets, toys, tools,
fun furniture and supplies - say they’ve saved 40% to 60% of their time
generating ideas in the creative environment vs. the cold office space in which
they spend their days.
people find the Thinkubator’s environment so stimulating? In part because the meeting space excites
all five senses. Among other things, it
▪ An ergonomically designed chair - the Symmetron -
that simulates floating, simultaneously soothing and stimulating the mind.
▪ Hundreds of toys and creativity tools - from
modeling clay to crayons to wall-size, printer-ready whiteboards.
▪ The relaxing scent of lavender, peppermint and other
▪ A variety of sounds, including music that
brainstormers can make themselves using the Thinkubator’s piano or karaoke
“By fostering a diversity of stimulation,
you get more diversity of thought and a wider variety of creative ideas,” Haman
By Linda Stockman-Vines