Constraints and First Choruses
What can we learn from Larry Rivers? What
else can we learn from Picasso? What else can
we learn from Braque?
Before describing the kinds of constraints involved in structuring a creativity problem, I want to point out the kind that does hinder novelty. Operators in well-structured problems with single correct solutions, like directions to memorize, calculate exactly, or copy correctly, do the opposite of constraints for creativity. They preclude the surprising and promote the expected, and should be called [constraints for conformity.]
I like to think of constraints for creativity as barriers that lead to breakthroughs. One constraint precludes (or limits search among) low-variability tried-and-true responses. It acts as a barrier which allows the other constraint to promote (or direct search among) high-variability, novel responses that could prove to be breakthroughs. The specific pairs are strategically chosen to realize a novel goal criterion (Stokes, 1999a, 2001a, 2001b; Stokes & Fisher, 2005; Stokes & Harrison, 2003).
In the case of Cubism, precluding a privileged viewpoint (the barrier) precipitated the multiplication of viewpoints within a single pictorial