“Creativity is a fragile flower, but perhaps it can be fertilized with systematic doses of serendipity,” writes Jason Zweig in his contribution, “Structured Serendipity,” to the set of essays edited by John Brockman in the book, This Will Make You Smarter.

“The almost ecstatic sense that makes us cry ‘I see!’ appears to come when the brain is able to shunt aside immediate or familiar inputs. That may explain why so many of us close our eyes (often unwittingly) just before we exclaim, ‘I see!’ It also suggest, at least to me, that creativity can be enhanced deliberately through environmental variation.”

I have been pondering the nature of the physical environment and what it does to our conversational lives. How do the spaces around us affect our inquisitiveness? Is our creativity hampered or helped by the three dimensional environment? In the next week or so, I shall explore that further. In the meantime, what do you think?