Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Creative Cover

I love creative ideas that seem to have been starring us in the face all along. Those “why didn’t anyone ever think of that” breakthroughs give me a real buzz. Cliff Francis calls this “surprising with the obvious.”

Here’s a perfect example of that kind of lateral thinking. While still studying at USC’s School of Architecture, Tina Hovsepian came up with the idea of Cardborigami. It uses origami – the traditional Japanese art of paper folding – to create durable, inexpensive shelters out of corrugated cardboard.

These shelters are water and flame resistant and surprisingly sturdy. They also fold flat and are easily transported to places where large numbers of people need temporary outdoor shelter. These include the urban homeless population and victims of natural disaster.

What I love about this idea is that it uses principles and materials that have been around for ages to solve a problem that has long lacked an adequate – and cost effective – solution. This is the very definition of creativity.

Creations such as this really stimulate my optimism gland. They remind me of the power of well-meaning creative people to improve the world in ways large and small.