In the classified section of a daily newspaper an advertisement reads: “Old problem looking for a way out”.
If I find a solution to that old problem, do I become part of the “creative” group of humans? If I spend time and energy, elaborating this new solution and then stop, will I have reached my goal?
I would think not. The answer I have worked so hard to elaborate needs also to be elegant, uncommon, unique and should enjoy simple qualities to convert and be adopted.
I could have also come across a brilliant idea accidentally and the eureka moment will then be at hand.
When we look back on our childhood, we relive moments of joy and peace we seldom experience when we grow up. Our life was easy then and great things were discovered by our exploring minds, things we looked upon as small miracles. Our parents were gods who could chase out demons from under the bed, wipe a tear from our eyes and bring back a smile to our lips, just by reading a bedtime story. Life was idyllic and the creativity of a mother or father was the resolution to our fears.
Is this seemingly straightforward solution applicable in our world? Can we find today an answer to the problems of poverty, water, wars, injustice, environmental problems and other apparently unsolvable tragedies?
Can we recall the creativity of the architect who added the gargoyles to the spires of the cathedrals, and then added a network of pipes to collect clean water, from their splashing mouths, for the thirsty? Or imagine the bent backs of builders attempting to stop a wall from falling and designing the flying buttresses that made these majestic buildings so elegant and lasting? Can we wait for hundreds of years to rediscover the magic of cement, lost in the middle ages, to give life to the beauty of Le Corbusier designs?
We are today, more than any other time, awaiting the return of Marco Polo to Venice. We look forward to the “The paper, gunpowder and compass to reshape the world”, to paraphrase Francis Bacon.
The blank sheet of paper and the magic fingers of an origami master turns into a bird, a plane and in the hands of an enchanted child, Superman. A 3D printer and some discarded tissue from an old man’s scar is built into an aorta that will replace his failing artery. An artist, a scientist, a mathematician will retreat in their bubble, will live in another dimension where everything is possible. In this world, parallels will join, Pythagoras will be wrong, Picasso will see Guernica, and I would write a short document to describe the unfathomable. Then, things we took for granted will stand down and a simple sum will never give the same results.
By the lovely AIDA