Posts tagged “creative problem solving institute”

Out and About: Tamara in Atlanta

While attending and presenting at the CPSI conference last week I managed to find a few moments to get outside of the hotel and take in some of the sights, sounds and flavors of Atlanta. The conference was dedicated to creative thinking and innovation so perhaps it’s no coincidence that I kept running into examples of my favorite creativity catalyzing tool: forced connections (also referred to as combinatorial creativity). Essentially, it’s the mashing up of seemingly different things to create something new.

Take this sign, a great forced connection between Italian and Southern hospitality. In my opinion this is considerably more successful than the Collard Kimchi dish I ate the night before. Curiosity got the best of me, I had to try it. And I was pretty sorry that I did.

What happens when you cross a cotton mill with a condo? No, that’s not a joke. It’s actually an amazing example of urban revitalization with a factory that had ceased serving its purpose. My hats off to the developers – they maintained architectural authenticity leaving many elements intact (as seen in the background of this image), and honored the rich history of this place through its rebirth as a hip place for urban dwelling denizens.

I came across this little poem in the window of a coffeeshop. All of the windows had clever sayings printed in them. Rhymes are fun examples of forced connections. I also like the play here between transparency (i.e. looking through a window) and translation (i.e. looking at words for meaning).


The sign here reads: Sister Louisa’s CHURCH Of The Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium, Come On In Precious!! Below the arrow on the left it states (it’s a bar). So, yes, it’s a forced connection between bar and church with some ping pong and living room thrown in for good measure. Other signs on the building simply read CHURCH and (it’s a bar). It’s funny to see that, clever as the name is, it still requires qualification that this establishment is, in fact, a bar.


Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) 2006?

I got a brochure last week for Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) 2006. I’ve had the odd conversation with people about this organization and the event, but I’m posting here in case anyone who reads this blog might have some more info.

Have you been to one of their events? Given what you do and what you were interested in learning, was it valuable?

I’m intrigued by the idea, but if I hadn’t ever heard it mentioned, I’m not sure I would give the brochure more than 30 seconds. It looks too touchy-feeling for me. I don’t need to get in touch with my inner spiritual voice. I need to keep thinking and practicing and expanding my own creative skills. That’s not a dichotomy and there is more breadth to the conference that that, but I’m having trouble finding a place to anchor.

Not to mention the usability of the program is terrible. There is a week-long event, a choice of pre-conferences, a custom program, a half-week program, a choice of several tracks – it’s very overwhelming and confusing and not really giving me a good sense of whether or not this is something I should do.

Appreciate any comments steve AT portigal DOT com – or on this blog.


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