Saturday, February 12, 2005

Peripheral Viewing: harnessing peripheral vision as a creative tool.

About this post

Type of technique: Random Stimulation

The post in a nutshell: Use Google to provide some random images. Don't look directly at the images but stare at a fixed spot and try to guess what the images are.


What is Peripheral Viewing?

Put simply, Peripheral Viewing is when the creative (ideas person, inventor etc) selects an image, ensures they do not look directly at the image (by choosing a focus spot away from the image) and tries to guess/deduce the content of the selected image.

The technique can be used in two ways:

1) As a listing tool, to list existing concepts and ideas

2) As a creative tool, to create new ideas

MAIN ARTICLE:

PERIPHERAL VIEWING: PERIPHERAL VISION USED AS A CREATIVITY TOOL

Peripheral viewing can be used as a listing tool and creative tool: this article is divided into two sections:

Section 1: Peripheral Viewing used as a listing tool

and

Section 2: Peripheral Viewing used as a creative tool

Section 1: Peripheral Viewing used as a listing tool

Listing is when the creative/inventor selects a concept or idea and then lists as many examples of that concept, idea or thing as possible.

This has three stages:

1) The accessing of a pool of images

2) The deciding on what examples of a concept/idea are required and the formation of a ‘Priming Question’ to clearly state this requirement.

3) Peripheral Viewing to see/find the information stated in the Priming Question.

The Images

The internet offers an abundance of diverse images through the ‘image search’ facility of search engines. Ideally the images displayed should be completely random and unconnected. This is achieved by using simple combinations of letters and/or numbers in the search request - such as “a 2”. If the creative/inventor is frequently using the technique then they can opt to use a sequence (“a1” then “a2” etc) in order to avoid repetition of images.

Priming Question

A Priming Question is devised by the creative which is used to express what information/concepts etc they would like to see/find in the images. There are two types of Priming Question: one for a general search (often used at the beginning of the Listing effort) and one for a specific search.

General Search

The Priming Question for a general search is:

What do you see?

Specific Search

With a specific search the creative defines a more specific target represented with a Priming Question in the format:

What ( X ) do you see?

where X is the specific information the creative would like to see/find in the image. So, for example, the resulting Priming Question could be along the lines of:

What (person) do you see?
What (activity) do you see?
Etc

The Peripheral Viewing

To Peripheral View, the creative focuses and fixes their gaze on a ‘Focus Spot’ on the page of images. The Focus Spot remains the same throughout the Peripheral Viewing and can be pinpointed by the use of a cursor.
An image is then chosen and the creative directs their attention to that image while being careful to continue looking directly at the Focus Spot and not at the image.

The creative then attempts to ‘identify’ the information: the creative is, in effect, guessing what is shown in the image. The creative can either reach a quick conclusion or alternatively spend more time guessing as to the image’s contents (or even attempt to recreate it by drawing). The final guess can be compared to the actual image (although this is only an option and not essential.) The creative then moves on to the next image.

More about the choice of Focus Spot

On a page of random Google images eight images (in boxes) should be visible on screen. The ideal Focus Spot is the image at the bottom left and this Focus Spot should be used for all the eight images. This has benefits:

The first image obviously will be looked at directly and the image can be reported literally (the use of images in creative thinking (for random stimulation and analogies) has been widely discussed).

As the other seven images are increasingly further from the Focus Spot they gradually become more ambiguous and thus the creative will experience (and can experiment with) differing degrees of recognition.

General Search and Specific Search

The Peripheral Viewing with a general search Priming Question (What do you see?) is straightforward, as the creative can literally repeat what they see. However, with a specific search Priming Question (such as: What (activity) do you see?) the following two points are worth remembering:

1) Suppose the Priming Question is:

What (great invention) do you see?

Obviously the random images will not be of great inventions. So, the creative adopts an attitude of presupposing/pretending that the images ARE of great inventions.

2) The creative may, in some instances, have a fairly certain idea of the contents of the image. In this case the creative treats the image as though it represents or hints at something. Again, using the Priming Question example:

What (great invention) do you see?

If the creative was fairly certain that the image was of a red balloon on a piece of string, for example, then they could, perhaps – among other possibilities - decide that the image is representing/hinting at the Montgolfier balloon. Or the creative could even reason that the round red shape is hinting at the Japanese flag and thus list a Japanese invention. Along similar lines, if the Priming Question had been “What (person) do you see?” then the creative could decide that the red balloon represented Richard Branson or Phileas Fogg, etc.

Examples of Peripheral Viewing (Listing) results

Section 2: Peripheral Viewing used as a creative tool

As with Listing Peripheral Viewing, there are three stages when using Creative Peripheral Viewing:

1) The accessing of a pool of images

2) The deciding on what new concepts/ideas are required and the formation of a ‘Priming Question’ to clearly state this requirement.

3) Peripheral Viewing to see/find the information stated in the Priming Question.

Stage 1 – the accessing of a pool of images – is the same as for Listing. However, Creative Peripheral Viewing has some changes.

Priming Question with Creative Peripheral Viewing

With Creative Peripheral Viewing, the creative simply changes the Priming Question to state that NEW ideas are required from the images. Again, there are two types of Priming Question: one for general search, and one for specific search.

General Search

The Priming Question for a general search is:
What (new idea) do you see?

Specific Search

With a specific search the creative defines a more specific target represented with a Priming Question in the format:

What ( new idea for X ) do you see?

where X is the specific new idea the creative would like to see/find in the image. So, for example, the resulting Priming Question could be along the lines of:

What (new idea for an invention) do you see?
What (new idea for a book) do you see?
Etc

The Peripheral Viewing for new ideas when Creative Peripheral Viewing

General Search and Specific Search

When the creative uses Peripheral Viewing for a general search or specific search the following three points must be considered:

1) Suppose the (general) Priming Question is:

What (new idea) do you see?

Similar to Peripheral Viewing used for Listing, the creative adopts an attitude of presupposing/pretending that the image IS of a new idea.

2) The creative should always attempt to complete the idea and guarantee newness, so that in EVERY Creative Peripheral Viewing of an image a new idea will result. The creative can also maintain an attitude that the final idea can be actually quite weak. This does lessen the pressure to think of the ‘great idea’ every time. (Over time, quantity should inevitably lead to quality.)


3) Again, as with Peripheral Viewing for Listing, the creative may sometimes have a fairly sure idea of what the picture actually is. Using the example Priming Question:

What (new invention) do you see?

If the creative was fairly certain that the image was of a red balloon on a piece of string , for example, they could treat the image as though it represents or hints at a new idea, and – ensuring they complete the idea and guarantee newness - reach ideas such as:

Make the string heavier so that helium balloons will not float off it a child releases the string

Print off a strip with the child’s email address so that other children can contact the child if they find the balloon

Etc.

Examples of Peripheral Viewing (Creative) results

Peripheral Viewing and social invention

The Global Ideas Bank

Obviously the Peripheral Viewing technique is relevant to the Global Ideas Bank and relevant to social invention.

The technique (when used for Listing) could be used to:

Example A) List and highlight problems with a Priming Question such as:

What (problem) do you see?

Example B) Fact-find and profile issues relevant to social inventions with a specific Priming Question such as:

What (thing associated with transport) do you see?

Also, the creative can build on a ‘germ’: a germ is a 'stalk' of an idea that can be made into a complete idea by finding specific information (by Listing Peripheral Viewing) to complete it. So, if the germ was “Centralised website for…” a Listing Priming Question could state:

What (situation) do you see?

And then the creative can consider if the situation can be used for a website or leads to an idea for a website.

(On one occasion I saw a crowded swimming pool in an image which led to this idea for a centralised website on overcrowding information:

A centralised website with crowding information )

Creativity, lateral thinking and chance/random factors

Students of creativity books will recognise the importance of random and chance factors in creative thinking. Those familiar with de Bono’s writings will know of the ‘random stimulation’ methods. The Peripheral Viewing techniques can be used in conjunction with this technique and others.

4 comments:

Jacob B√łtter said...

Hello John.. what a great post! I just made a follow-up though I haven't had the time to read the full post yet. Look over here; http://connecta.typepad.com/cph127/2005/03/innovation_aero.html

ghkj said...

EVEN by wow gold the standards gold in wow of the worst financial buy wow gold crisis for at least wow gold cheap a generation, the events of Sunday September 14th and the day before were extraordinary. The weekend began with hopes that a deal could be struck,maplestory mesos with or without government backing, to save Lehman Brothers, America''s fourth-largest investment bank.sell wow gold Early Monday buy maplestory mesos morning Lehman maplestory money filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It has more than maplestory power leveling $613 billion of debt.Other vulnerable financial giants scrambled maple money to sell themselves or raise enough capital to stave off a similar fate. billig wow gold Merrill Lynch, the third-biggest investment bank, sold itself to Bank of America (BofA), an erstwhile Lehman suitor,wow power leveling in a $50 billion all-stock deal.wow power leveling American International Group (AIG) brought forward a potentially life-saving overhaul and went maple story powerleveling cap-in-hand to the Federal Reserve. But its shares also slumped on Monday.

jimmychooshoes said...

mcqueen shoes
alexander mcqueen heels
Alexander McQueen Store
Jimmy Choo sale
Replica jimmy choo shoes
manolo blahnik online store
manolo shoes
manolo blahnik sale
replica christian louboutin shoes
discount christian louboutin shoes
alexander mcqueen shoes
jimmy choo outlet
jimmy choos
jimmy shoes
Manolo Blahnik Shoes
christian shoes
Christian Louboutin - Declic leather pumps
Manolo Blahnik Something Blue Satin Pump
Manolo Blahnik Satin Jeweled d'Orsay Pump

Friday said...

The Christian Louboutin Heels can help you become sexy and elegant. christian louboutin 2011 sandals are regarded since the symbolic representation of attractive and elegant.christian louboutin wedgesIt is especially suitable for the women who wear the christian louboutin evening shoes at the first time. These christian louboutin pumps combine top quality, reasonable price and fashional design, which is your best choice Artist who promoted his collection of luxury women's footwear in earlier 90s. No 1 can disregard the existence in the style world, World-famous red-colored soles and christian louboutin peep toe are shaped features. However, you can by no means overlook the beautiful. You do not even need to go inside environment, as well as your slim, gorgeous and graceful legs may be effortlessly discovered in people's eyes.!Welcome to our christian louboutin store.