On Cartoons, Bathrooms, and Creativity

Pixar Animation Studios atrium.

Pixar Studios

I have a lot of books on creativity and creative thinking, and bookstores know I’m pretty much a sure thing when something new and interesting comes out. NPR alerted me to a new one: “Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer. I just downloaded the audiobook, which I will listen to right after I finish my current audiobook (“1493” by Charles C. Mann). But even before I get a chance to hear Lehrer’s book, I wanted to share some flash inspiration that I got from the NPR interview. It was the part about how Steve Jobs redesigned Pixar studios (of blockbuster animated film fame) “to maximize collaboration and creativity.” The original design had the three teams of specialists separate in their own buildings: scientists, animators, and directors. Creative soul that Jobs was, he saw immediately that this was a Very Bad Idea when it comes to inspiring creativity.

Steve Jobs at the WWDC 07

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