Practicing Creativity

Practice morphogenetic creative processes

A morphogenetic process follows a system of simple rules (like a genetic code), and evolves through patient application of those rules. Starting from a single, small but complete system, space is gradually differentiated while maintaining the wholeness of the overall system. Morphogenetic creativity starts with wholeness.

Christopher Alexander: Four conditions necessary for unfolding

  1. Practice step-by-step adaptation (Reduce batch size and increase frequency), structure-preserving transformations.
  2. Feedback: continuous and relatively immediate feedback
  3. Unpredictability: allow the whole to go where it must go, openness to future, lack of predictability. It must be all right for the thing to become whatever it becomes, under the influence of adaptation and feedback, even though one does not know, in detail, what that thing is going to be.
  4. Awareness of the whole - Practice awareness of the whole


The result is a living whole with distinct Living centers in which The Quality Without a Name can be perceived.

"Each act of building, which differentiates a part of space, needs to be followed soon by further acts of building, which further differentiate the space to make it still more whole." The Timeless Way of Building

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These are my draft notes on creativity—as a skill, a practice, and a mystery

Creativity is a mystery
Creativity is multi-faceted, complex, and irreducible

Repair and refactoring processes are creative
Because Creativity is organic, creative projects often need updates, maintenance, or repair along their lifespan just as living organisms need periods of rest and repair

About Practicing Creativity

These are my notes on creativity—as a skill, a practice, and a mystery. Everything you find here is in a perpetual draft state and much of it may not make sense. I hope these notes become clearer over time as I continue writing and updating them, although I hope they might be useful even in disarray.

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