Fredonia Shakespeare Club considers creative products

The Fredonia Shakespeare Club met recently in its third regular meeting of the 2013-2014 year at the home of Ms. Joyce Haines. Club Vice President Mrs. Louis Richardson presided.

In accordance with the theme for the year, “Creativity & the Spark of Genius,” Dr. Besemer presented her paper, which she summarized as follows:

The formal study of the psychological construct of creativity began in the 1950s when America’s position in the world of science and space exploration was threatened by the technical superiority of the Soviet Union, which had launched Sputnik, the first space satellite.

Psychologists at that time urged improvements to education, including the formal study of creativity, in order to be able to produce more creative scientists and engineers, and to encourage creative achievement in children.

Nowadays, psychologists generally pursue studies in creativity within four broad areas: the creative personality, the creative process, the creative environment and the creative product.

Dr. Susan Besemer’s research, sometimes working with Dr. Karen O’Quin, speaker for the Annual Tea, is in the area of creative products.

The theoretical model behind Besemer’s research is called the Creative Product Analysis Model (or CPAM). This model includes three factorial dimensions: Novelty, Resolution and Style. Within the three dimensions are nine facets which further describe creativity in products.

Besemer presented her paper, “Defining and Measuring Creativity in Product Design: Searching for a Yardstick.”

This article was published this summer, co-authored by Philip Thompson, Vice-President of Design at Newell Rubbermaid. The article highlights examples of the nine facets in nine highly successful consumer products of today.

Besemer concluded her program by inviting club members to view products through the lens of the CPAM using a hands-on exercise.

At the next meeting of the club, to be held at the home of Mrs. Julian McQuiston, Ms. Florence McClelland will present her paper entitled, “A Creative Community: Fredonia in the 1890s.”