Learning to See
By: Chris Teague

What's it for: Setting aside preconceptions
Who's it for: Teams who wish to be more perceptive and develop better solutions




“Pulling focus away from a particular problem and instead looking at the environment around it can lead to better solutions”.


As we all now know, our Left brain is verbal/analytical, and our Right brain is visual/conceptual. Most activities require both, however drawing requires us to shut off the side of the brain that jumps to conclusions.


Artists can turn off the tendency to jump to conclusions and see what's actually before them. For instance in drawing a chair you or I might draw it poorly as we know what a chair is supposed to look like, however if we're asked to draw what is not the chair, e.g. the spaces between the legs etc., then the proportions will be more accurate, as although the brain recognises the chair as a chair it assigns no meaning to the shape of the spaces between the legs and thus doesn't try to correct to match its model of a chair.


The same is true of colour, if you're asked to paint a picture of a lake we pick the colour blue and then we're surprised that it doesn't look right on the canvas. But if we look at different points in the same lake through a pin-hole (thus removing it from the overall idea of a lake), we'd actually see it's green, black, yellow and flashes of white. We don't let the brain fill in - instead we see colour as it really is.


Drawing an 'unchair' can be a metaphor for increasing perceptivity. Just as looking at what is not a chair helps bring it into relief, pulling focus away from a particular problem and instead of looking at the environment around it can lead to better solutions.


Categories: Inspiration, Culture