Imagine: How Creativity Works
by Jonah Lehrer
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
304 pages (hardcover)
Recently, a Barnes and Noble interview with Jonah Lehrer, author of the new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, showed up in my inbox. Imagine, released this month, is a book that takes the reader into the process of the epiphany. How is it that creativity, genius, or every day problem solving occur? The solution may not be what you think and can be counterintuitive.
Lehrer is frequent guest on shows like, Radiolab, contributor to Wired and The New Yorker, and writes for the Wall Street Journal. The interview with Barnes and Noble is a good look at the subject of Imagine, which is now on my TBR. Here’s the interview:
I’m reminded here of that great Steve Jobs story about the Pixar headquarters. When he was planning the studio in the late 1990s, he had the building arranged around a central atrium, so that the diverse staff of artists, writers, and computer scientists would run into each other. But Jobs soon realized that it wasn’t enough to create an airy atrium; he needed to force people to go there. He began with the mailboxes, which he shifted to the lobby. Then he moved the meeting rooms to the center of the building, followed by the cafeteria, the coffee bar, and the gift shop. Finally, he decided that the atrium should contain the only set of bathrooms in the entire building. (He was later forced to compromise and install a second pair of bathrooms.) At first, people hated this design, since it meant they were constantly schlepping to the atrium. But now lots of people have their bathroom breakthrough story, describing how some errant conversation while washing their hands led to an insight. Read the rest of the Barnes and Noble Interview with Jonah Lehrer.
If you enjoyed the Barnes and Noble interview with Jonah Lehrer, you may also be interested in his interview with NPR’s All Things Considered from this last week.