Let guided chance enrich your creative process

Do you know the phenomenon that when you delve into something, new and different things come your way? It almost seems like fate wants to tell you something. I call this phenomenon guided coincidence. This not accidental coincidence occurs when you work with an open mind. It can cause a snowball effect as new information arrives outside of your preparation.

Goals

• Enriching the creative process as a whole;
• An open view, allowing new impulses outside of cognitive preparation;
• Enrich the incubation phase by allowing guided chance.

This exercise stimulates the addition of new associative information to the subconscious with the aim of increasing the number of promising combinations. Recognizing the promising combinations towards a solution is the moment of illumination. This can take place long after the end of the exercise.

Exercise

1) Take your research or question in mind for 1 minute and then put it away (you can take this very literally).
2) Grab a phone, paper, pencil or pen and enter a room with many objects or other stimuli (this space can be workshops, a large thrift store, store, museum, etc.)
3) Take a maximum of 20 minutes to look around and record what touches or catches your way (photo, text, drawing). Give yourself the space to associate freely and to put your question on the back burner. So do not search emphatically but go on impulse.
4) Discuss what you have found in groups of 2-4 people in max. 20 minutes and share the results.
5) Now pick up your problem again literally or figuratively and combine it with your photos, drawings, text and what you have discussed in the group.
6) And have you found an alternative angle? This appears over time. In any case, you have more input to connect and you look with a glance that will help you outside your obvious cognitive paths with your problem.

This method was first tested on January 20, 2020, during at HKU with Med students and graduates. Afterwards, the 12 participants indicated that they had found new input for their questions.

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