DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Bruno, Carmen; Canina, Marita
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Section: Creativity 2
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


Creativity - the ability to produce novel and useful ideas (Amabile, 1988) – has become a democratic necessity and the most important human skill to face the uncertainties brought by the digital era we are going through.

This era and its digital technologies (i.e., IoT, AI, AR, etc…) are reshaping the social, behavioral and cognitive development of digitally enhanced individuals (Pransky, 2001) who are growing up with digital habits (TV, cell phones, video games, etc.). Researches have shown empirical evidence about how the Internet environment and the advent of new digital technology have altered the cognitive behaviors and structures involved in information processing, executive control, and reward-processing. This means a gravitation toward a shallow mode of learning characterized by a quick scanning of information and reduced contemplation; increased multitasking behaviors that are linked to increased distractibility; higher prevalence of Internet-related addictive behaviors (Kee Loh and Kanai, 2015).

The co-evolution of society and digital technologies require this generation to develop new competencies and skills among which human creativity is the most important one. The central question arising from these considerations is about how the technological evolution is influencing the creative thinking abilities of the digitally enhanced generation?

In this sense, a big debate in literature is open. Many authors, for example, report that the increasing synaptic activity in areas of the brain with digital exposure may contribute to expanding possibilities for creative activity. The hypothesis that arises from this context is that it could be necessary to develop new creativity stimuli for the digital generation according to the digital cultural changes and the cognitive swing occurred.

The aim of this paper is to present the Creativity 4.0 model framed to allow the identification of the positive and negative consequences of the digital transition on creativity. The model enables the integration and interpretation of creativity factors, blocks and conditions that can boost or lock creativity in the digital era. The framework will benefit several context and disciplines, and open opportunities for other researches: in the educational field, the framework could support educators that aim to train and provide digitally enhance people with tools and technique to keep active their creativity. In the design education, it shapes new design tools and actions to support designers at all stages of the design process. Within the design studies, the design research community could use it as the starting reference to study the evolution of the creative design process.

We are all moving toward digital enhancement (Prensky, 2009), technology is becoming our next nature (Van Mensvoort, 2011) and companies, schools and organization should be able to deal with a digital generation representing the actors of a near future. It is therefore essential for the design research to understand the impact of technologies on the creative design process in order to: update the conceptual toolbox, facilitate and guide the expression of people creative potential, address new technological challenges achieving large-scale innovation. Empowering people with creativity skill becomes for designers a fundamental aim and a new field of action.

Keywords: Creativity, ICTs, Digitally enhanced people, Empowerment, Creative design process


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.