Creativity is central to innovations in human-computer interaction technology, and distinguishes design practice from more technical approaches. We believe that more efficient creative processes can be designed, but that doing so effectively involves overcoming two challenging problems. The first is how to enable individuals to have the skills of integrity and self-leadership necessary for sustained creative behavior, and the second is how to manage and encourage creative behavior in organizations and teams. Human-computer interface technology promises to enhance creativity for both individuals and collaborating groups. Our aim is to use creative systems to understand how.
The Creative Systems Laboratory is unique research effort that takes a human-centered approach to designing an inclusive research environment. Working in academia, especially with an all-volunteer team, often feels like herding cats. Cats are curious and indecisive. They want to be in, and they want to be out. Often they want to be in and out at exactly the same time. Thus rather than a top-down model of research governance, we instead turn the creative process on ourselves to improve our working process and collective well-being. For example, we have performed a massive synthesis of “likes” and “wishes” among our laboratory community that resulted in the strategic model pictured above: five core values, shown in the inner circle, and nine design principles, shown in the outer circle. Specific areas of opportunity have also been identified to support each design principle. Collectively this framework provides a guiding vision for our design and research culture.
Everything about the laboratory is a work-in-progress. If you'd like to be involved, you've come to the right place! In the coming months we'll be programming this website as well as “designing” the processes by which we interact.
For starters, check out the .pdf documents below, especially those that are marked with an *.