A Plentitude of Possibilities Pertaining to a Paperclip - more on Divergent Thinking

January 31, 2018

In this talk, Ken Robinson asks "How many uses can you think of for a paperclip? Most people might come up with 10 or 15, people who are good at this might come up with 200, and they do that by saying well, could the paperclip be 200 foot tall and made out of foam rubber?"


Below are  some wonderful examples of divergent thinking. Here artists have taken everyday objects and in unexpected ways showed how they can be used for a different purpose.



These two pictures are by Cintascotch (aka Javier Perez), an Ecuadorian graphic designer and audiovisual producer. What I like about his pieces are their simplicity and their childlike appeal. On his website, the artist writes “Create every day. No matter your skills” - amen to that.



How amazing are these ice cream spoon chandeliers?! These are from an ice-cream shop near where I work in Jerusalem. I love how such a simple and cheap item which is usually thrown away can be transformed into something so spectacular.


There is a great game(!) that can be played to help put these divergent thinking skills into practice. The game is called 'props' and was popularised by the TV programme Whose Line Is It Anyway? (I haven't posted a link to the props videos from the programme as although they are funny they can also be a bit rude). Anyway the game works as follows: people are put into teams, each team gets a prop - this could either be something everyday and mundane (such as a plastic plate, a plastic cup, a rope etc...) or something very odd and peculiar which wouldn't strike a person as having an obvious use. Each team then takes it in turns to come up with as many funny uses for the prop as they can.


This isn't a board game, but games don't always need to be. There are many types of play and games that fall into other categories of play (think improv games, imaginative play etc.)

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