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Week 9 -Creative Environments

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During week 9, we presented to our tutorial information on the reading which dealt with interactions within a creative team environment.  In summary, creative workplaces often require creative collaboration, which will often require one individual to relinquish control to another individual who has differing, but complimentary skills (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). An ability to communicate through a devised language is essential to group collaboration, as this allows creative individuals to communicate in a fluid and coherant way (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002) . Failure to develop this shared language will hinder and/or cripple the group creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This development of a coherent language ties into the concept of an organisational culture, which is a  set of values, norms, standards of behavior and shared expectations that influence a collective of people within the group (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013).

Human-computer interaction looks at in what ways technology can enhance the creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Traditional research on creativity focused on the individual and individual’s internal cognitive process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Recent research has begun to highlight the importance of social interaction, mentoring and collaboration in creative works (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This is evident within the video games industry, where teams of people come together with different skill-sets, and try to develop and produce a polished game ready to sell. The assets for the games are created within a digital environment, often using complicated programs bring an idea to fruition. These programs are extremely complicated, and often require years of training to be able to use within a vocational setting. This means that multiple people familiar with the program must collaborate to create enough content to make up a game. The process of creating a video game solo has created a new sort of developer dubbed the ‘indie game developer’. However for high level triple A titles, vast teams of artists, programmers and testers must come together and each contribute their part to a game to make it whole. This research set the basis of guidelines and frameworks for building computer-based tools, which encourage and promote individual creativity.

Today the importance of social interactions, mentoring, and collaboration in creative work is recognized through research (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This approach realizes that creative products cannot be developed by an individual, but rather a team (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Creative environments are more effective when a group of people is brought together with different backgrounds, skill sets, and experience level (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). A partnership is when each individual has complementary interests, but the out outcomes from each individual may differ (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

By devising a shared language individuals are able to communicate and exchange creative ideas, which is an essential part of the creative process (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). However, the vocabulary needs to be task-dependent, custom or unique to the team and the environment, and developed by the team over an extended period of time and during multiple projects (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This ties into organizational culture, which is a set of values, norms, standards of behavior and shared expectations that influence a collective of people within the group (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). Organisational culture is fostered through the communication of stories and language, socialization, ceremonies or rites and the values of the founder/s (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). When there is a strong group culture in place, the creative members have an understanding of what is required of them, and they focus on what is beneficial to the team in the long-run, which aligns their decisions and actions to the goal or vision (Waddell, Jones & George, 2013). In a creative environment, these stories and languages provide a way for team members to communicate with one another and to help indoctrinate newcomers into the environment (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). It also provides direction and vision to the team members (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

Here we have an example of the avengers. They share an organizational culture consisting of values of protecting the innocent, justice, saving the world etc. The stories and experiences they share together strengthens their resolve and fight for justice. Standards of behavior are questionable, but at the end of the day they come together to fight for the good of the universe.

A common understanding of the artistic intentions and vision needs to be developed, but the creative exchange doesn’t need to be verbal (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Within this phase of collaboration what-if questions and individual benefits will be discussed. By capturing ideas, annotating them and storing them for future reference, it allows the group to build a shared knowledge resource, which will have innumerable benefits (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

In creative work it is also important to be able to track the progress of an idea or revisit design decisions(Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). It is also important to revisit core principles and values that the team members have set themselves. For example Blizzard entertainment have a set of 8 core principles. They help remain focused on their values and identity through the reuse of their artwork within the work environment.

Previous design ideas are often revisited and analysed, and participation with fan desires is often carefully considered. Interdisciplinary collaboration refers to individuals looking at each other’s design to learn each other’s approaches without having to discuss them (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). This requires that individuals be highly experienced within their domain, so they may analyze their peers work and gain insights (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

Developers of tools for creativity support should be mindful of differences in cognitive styles, which are typical for different disciplines or even for individuals with the same professional backgrounds (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002).

An effective working relationship exists where both parties exchange knowledge resources in order to make progress and resolve difficulties of both technical and artistic nature (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). Parties need to contain complementary rather than identical skills (Mamkyina, Candy & Edmonds, 2002). 

 

References

Mamkyina, L., Candy, L., Edmonds, E., (2002). Collaborative Creativity.

Communications of the ACM. 45(10).

Waddell, D., Jones, G. R., George, J. M., (2013). Contemporary Management (3rd ed.). NSW:

McGraw-Hill Education.

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