Current neuroscience research confirms what creatives intuitively know about being innovative: that it usually happens in the shower. After focusing intently on a project or problem, the brain needs to fully disengage and relax in order for a “Eureka!” moment to arise. It’s often the mundane activities like taking a shower, driving, or taking a walk that lure great ideas to the surface. Composer Steve Reich, for instance, would ride the subway around New York when he was stuck.
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This is something that has been a pursuit throughout my lifetime. Always looking for that new idea and one that will sustain itself and not just become another by-product of the current trend or fad of the time.
Some other techniques that other designers and the like use to spark their creativity, is called the disruption theory. Where one causes a break in the usual flow of things. One simple idea of doing this was suggested by an actor in a workshop I attended at a drama festival during high school; he said (paraphrased) ” brush your teeth with your other hand, break your routine every now and then.” This supposedly helps with creating new pathways for innovative ideas.
I am no expert in this theory, as I have yet to discover a good idea while applying this method; but this I do know that sometimes “serendipity” occurs when you least expect it, but only in the confines of routine. That is a paradox that I have experienced a few times and has led me to believe that there are no accidents.
This may lead on to the next debate of ”genius” but that is a subject that I will discuss on another occasion.