Beyond Binary Choices: Integrating Individual and Social Creativity. Fischer, G., Giaccardi, E., Eden, H., Sugimoto, M., & Ye, Y. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 63(4-5):482-512, 10, 2005.
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The power of the unaided individual mind is highlyoverrated. Although societyoften thinks of creative individuals as working in isolation, intelligence and creativityresult in large part from interaction and collaboration with other individuals. Much human creativityis social, arising from activities that take place in a context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embodycollective knowledge are essential contributors. This paper examines: (1) how individual and social creativity can be integrated by means of proper collaboration models and tools supporting distributed cognition; (2) how the creation of shareable externalizations (‘‘boundaryobjects’’) and the adoption of evolutionary process models in the construction of meta-design environments can enhance creativityand support spontaneous design activities (‘‘unselfconscious cultures of design’’); and (3) how a new design competence is emerging—one that requires passage from individual creative actions to synergetic activities, from the reflective practitioner to reflective communities and from given tasks to personallymeaningful activities. The paper offers examples in the context of collaborative design and art practice, including urban planning, interactive art and open source. In the effort to draw a viable path ‘‘beyond binary choices’’, the paper points out some major challenges for the next generation of socio-technical environments to further increase the integration of individual and social creativity.

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