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Claudia Mareis

Systematic Problem Solving: Creativity and Ideation Techniques in the Post-War Era (02.02.2016)


Creativity and ideation techniques, such as brainstorming, mind maps, scenario analyses, or morphological boxes are used in the context of designing, planning, and problem solving in various disciplines: for example in the range of education for designers, architects or engineers, in management courses, writing seminars or psychological testing. These techniques represent a vital, and highly multidisciplinary part of contemporary knowledge production. Nevertheless, up to now very little is known about the cultural history of creativity and ideation techniques. This is particularly true with regard to their remarkable rise and prosperity in the 1950ies and 1960ies, when a great variety of creativity techniques and guidebooks were being launched and propagated in both academic and professional fields. Especially in western culture, creativity was regarded as a highly precious human property that needed to be fostered in a systematic way. The talk will place selected creativity and ideation techniques in the context of post war era, and will show, how these techniques have been shaped and influenced by social, political, and economic debates on creativity and knowledge production at that time.


Main Research Interests

  • Design Methodology and Epistemology
  • Knowledge and Experimental Design and Media Practices
  • History and Practice of Creativity and Ideation Techniques

Publications (selected)

  • With Christof Windgätter: Long Lost Friends. Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Design-, Medien- und Wissenschaftsforschung. Zürich, Berlin: Diaphanes, 2013.
  • The Epistemology of the Unspoken. On the concept of tacit knowledge within contemporary design research. In: Design Issues, Vol. 28, Nr. 2, 2012, 61–71.
  • Design als Wissenskultur. Interferenzen zwischen Design- und Wissens­diskursen seit 1960. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011.