Australian Innovation Research Centre


Commencement Date 01 January 2010
Project Status Current

Creativity provides the seed for innovation.  Understanding what fertilises the creative process, which is central to the formulation of new ideas, could be beneficial in promoting an environment that encourages enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation.


Understanding what fertilises the creative process, central to the formulation of new ideas, could be beneficial in promoting an environment that encourages enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation.  In 2010 the AIRC embraced the Creativity Research Project, an interdisciplinary venture that draws together philosophy, social sciences and economics.  PD Marcelo Stamm, AIRC Senior Research Fellow internationally renowned for his work on German philosophy, leads this exciting new project. Through a detailed historical investigation of the formation of Early German Idealism and using this as an 'experimental field', Dr Stamm, in conjunction with Professor Dieter Henrich from Munich University, devised Constellation Research to develop a model for analysing intellectual innovation and conceptual creativity.  The term 'constellation' refers to the interaction of particular groupings of individuals who share a specific set of problems and interests.  Dr Stamm is now translating this constellational model into a practice-based innovation research program.  It aims to provide a generic understanding of conceptual creativity and to articulate a meta-theoretical model of how the creative process unfolds. Led by a trans-disciplinary agenda, Dr Stamm intends to establish a cutting-edge international research network that is of global significance.

"Creativity is often thought of as a process centred on the ingenuity of the individual and to occur through isolated conceptual innovation," he says.  "In contrast, a constellational approach takes creativity to be conditioned by the interaction of individuals and the interrelating of concepts.  The focus on mapping the interaction of agents onto conceptual relationships turns this research into a distinctively philosophical pursuit.  It looks to ground the structure and dynamics of the creative process in the very dialectical structure of conceptuality."

Creativity at an advanced level, Dr Stamm maintains, requires simultaneously an expert's immersion into his specialised field, and a capacity to transgress its boundaries.  Paradoxically, complete saturation in a field can yield the recognition of its very limitation – the seed impulse of creativity.

"The expert's awareness of the relative nature of his endeavour enables him to recognise correspondences between hitherto unrelated systems and to develop a 'synthesising space', which scaffolds a discourse that does not slip into empty generics but rather paves a productive collision course.

Seeing creativity as the seed of innovation requires not only understanding the dynamics of creative interaction as such, but furthermore recognising the complex fundamental conditions that awaken and foster this kind of interaction.

"Constellational creativity research," Dr Stamm summarises, "will provide a multi-disciplinary communication platform from which we can also review dominant ideological biases and constraints which stand in the way of creativity and innovation.  This will prove quintessential for societies like Australia that are under ever more pressure to be innovative."