Everyday Creativity for 2011

A few weeks back I saw this chairs set up just like this on Vernor near Mt. Elliot. Later that day, two men in their 70's were sitting in the chairs, facing just like this, watching traffic pass by. "A beautiful day son!" they called out as I passed by.

The chairs were gone a week later. But I saw them set up by a bus stop further up Mt. Elliot near Gratiot, next to a bench made from an old bus seat. This time there was a small cluster of men playing cards.

These chairs reminded me of Ron Scott's statement in an earlier post on everyday creativity. Everyday creativity, as Ron described it, recognizes the efforts of people to make lives for themselves, to make ends meet, to gather the resources needed to feed themselves, their children.

The chairs transformed an open lot into a habitable public space--architecture and planning discourse describes this often as ad-hoc urbanism.

Everyday creativity, like its near partner, functional creativity, carries promises and suggestions of innovative and interesting responses to challenges in daily life.

In his book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida describes a demographic he calls the super-creatives, incorporating artists, architects, engineers, and other vocations where innovation or interpretation is central to a practice.

I'm trying to place these chairs and their use in this spectrum from everyday to super creative. One place I'm lingering is sublime creativity which I associate with fantastical work--great musicals, opera, earth shaking paintings or films. Creative work that shifts the way we see the world. Seeing these eccentric chairs against the open land of Detroit's east side someone could shift a view and take it upon themselves to re fashion an environment.

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