Creativity is Inspired by Boundaries

Sep 29, 2017

The general concept to inspire creativity is to leave people to their own devices and to give them space. In reality, that’s not the case.

Limitations drive creativity.

When approaching any supplier with your demand, you usually try to narrow down your request: maybe it is your dream house, your ideal brand identity or a table for your living room. Accordingly, you’re limiting your scope and directly guiding your supplier in helping find the right solution. So where does limitation become hindering?

We believe it never does. Architect Frank Gehry, best known for building the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has two words for an answer when asked what really inspires his work: limitations and constraints.

The project gets interesting when you have obstacles to overcome. If you had no limits, you can do whatever you wish. It’s true, one can be very creative when given such a space to roam freely, but would one create something exceptionally unusual? Would Airbnb have existed if there wasn’t a gap in the hospitality industry that people with lesser incomes fell through?

Too much space creates a sense of confusion and listlessness. There are too many options available to choose from, and that delays the process of creativity. But with limits, there are challenges to overcome, and this is where creativity thrives and exceeds expectations.

So basically, any time a client draws constraints in what they request, take it as an opportunity to bring your best self forward and wow the customer with all you can deliver within limited time, materials, or even costs.

Anything is possible with enough limits to drive you forward. A contradiction? Perhaps. But also a truth.