Combinatorial Creativity: Designing and Inventing Between Order and Contingency
Joy P. Guilford: The Nature of Human Intelligence, 1967 (Ausschnitt Buchcover)
6:00-8:00 pm
Casino on the Westend Campus, Room 1.811


Combinatorial Creativity: Designing and Inventing Between Order and Contingency

Claudia Mareis

Based on methodological and psychological discourses and practices from the 1940s to 1960s, the lecture deals with an operational – namely combinatorial – understanding of creativity. At that time, combinatorial creativity methods, such as the morphological box, were not only used in scientific-technical and artistic-design contexts of invention and design, but also fundamentally influenced psychological models of creative thinking and problem-solving. Against the background of the emerging computerization of the working world, combinatorial creativity models and methods also raised questions about the differences between and limits of human and machine problem-solving skills. In a deeper sense, such combinatorial creativity ultimately expressed the desire for resilience and human survival, which was to be realized as a heuristic of psychological and environmental programmability.

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis is a designer as well as a design and cultural scientist. Since 2021 she has been a professor of Design and History of Knowledge at the Institute for Cultural Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin. In addition, she researches and teaches at the Institute for Experimental Design and Media Cultures at the University of Art and Design FHNW in Basel. Since 2019 she has been co-speaker of the interdisciplinary cluster of excellence, Matters of Activity. Image Space Material, at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include 20th-century design history and methodology, knowledge cultures in design, experimental design and media practices, and the cultural history of creativity, design, and material politics. She is currently working on completing a monograph on the history of creative practice in the 20th century.

The event is part of the lecture series Designed Orders. The lecture will take place in hybrid mode (in person and via Zoom) on the Westend Campus of Goethe University Frankfurt (Casino, Room 1.811) and will be held in German.