Using Performance Art as a Methodology to Discover Creative Compatibility Between People of Disparate Disciplines
In this first-ever studio project within the Envision platform at the Royal College of Art (RCA), we will ask questions around the core-business of poets, scientists and designers alike: What do Uncertainty and Discovery mean today and what is our Future with Uncertainty and Discovery to be? How would we take an active role in shaping our common future, and is it as it seems, that overcoming uncertainty or even ignorance, will increasingly take place within a distinctly interdisciplinary future?
“Great creativity” could appeal from interdisciplinary team with a trust and an extraordinary breakthrough perspective.
However, “If people were worried that their ideas might be ridiculed by the group, the process would fail. (JONAH LEHRER, 2012)” For instance, in a brainstorming level of an interdisciplinary team, considering the backgrounds of other teammates without trust and understanding between each other can cause a limitation on creative thinking. PLAY+FORMANCE allows participants to transcend cultural barriers between dissimilar teammates, improving their rate of success. It is a method of sensing compatibility on a more nuanced, physical level. The absence of rules, spontaneity, and a performer-spectator relationship leads to performance art.
Our interdisciplinary team, consisting of a vehicle designer, financial engineer performance artist and interaction designer reflects the interdisciplinary mission of the Envision Platform of Service Design at the RCA. It is explicitly understood on our platform that these disparate backgrounds often cause great difficulty when we try to make creative decisions on a collective level. However, through PLAY+FORMANCE for one continuous hour, we interacted freely, often discovering subtle disconnects between our thoughts. By watching recorded video and discussing these disconnects, we have better understood the perspectives of our teammates. Afterwards, in a brainstorming session, our team generated multi-channeled perspectives of ideas because we have built a new kind of a trust between each other and we tend to propose ideas based on a sense of unity. PLAY+FORMANCE could build a new way of ice-breaking for interdisciplinary academic teams.
Although interdisciplinary teams have the potential to propose breakthroughs, disparate backgrounds and experiences can be risky. An interdisciplinary team might build a new ontology of related or dissimilar fields via PLAY+FORMANCE and it can achieve the desired balance between risk and reward. Our work has an apparent limitation in terms of iterative tests to demonstrate an effect on PLAY+FOMANCE, but undoubtedly, it is expected to be regarded as one solution to solve the dilemmas of an interdisciplinary team.
- Lehrer, J. (2012). Groupthink: The brainstorming myth. The New Yorker, 30, 12.
- Fleming, L. (2004). Perfecting Cross-Pollination. Harvard business review, 82(9), 22-24.
Class: Envision Platform (Director: Ronald Jones / Tutor: Hannah Kops)
Collaboration with Rachel Yalisove, Sophia-Louisa Grantl and Yu-Ting Huang
Paper published and presented at INTERNATIONAL TRANSDISCIPLINARITY CONFERENCE, 2017
Spring 2017 @Royal College of Art
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