Distributing Creativity: Three Thought Experiments

Part of the Creativity in the Twenty First Century book series (CTFC)


This chapter advances a distributed conception of creativity which challenges ‘centric’ models of this phenomenon specific for much of the psychological literature as well as lay thinking. According to this sociocultural perspective, creative action is distributed within interactions between people and between people and objects, interactions that unfold in time. A relational and developmental account is thus put forward starting from three central premises: (a) The interdependence between self and other in creative action ; (b) The fact that creativity is not a ‘thing’ but a relationship; and (c) People and culture should be understood as becoming rather than being. The present chapter proposes three thought experiment s—the deserted island, the creativity oracle, and the ‘preservation law’—best described as hypothetical situations meant to problematise implicit assumptions about creativity and support the three lines of distribution (social, material, and social) discussed here. In the end, conclusions are drawn regarding the theoretical and practical implications of ‘distributing creativity’.


Centric Model Creative Process Creative Expression Creative Idea Creative Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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