“Not to find one’s way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance, nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city – as one loses oneself in a forest – that calls for quite a different schooling.” Walter Benjamin
Historian Simon Sharma has coined us the “look down” generation. Where once we looked out at the world and each other – the view in front of us being our primary source of information – today, he says, we frequently lower our gaze to interact with our phone or tablet. And recent research from Stanford University has shown the power of walking and movement in fostering creative thought, improving creative thought by up to 60%.
How often have you had great ideas when you’ve stopped thinking about the problem and done something else?
So we’ve created the Creative Safari – a way to take a little time out from your day-to-day for deliberate creative thought. It’s our take on a dérive: problem-solving and learning by walking about in a group, talking, watching, getting lost and wandering – a dérive in French literally means “drifting”. It is a technique of getting lost in a city and allowing your unconscious mind time to problem-solve. “Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll” so said Guy Debord, founder of this movement.
This immersive experience encourages you to look up and out and use the city for inspiration.
You’ll bring your challenge with you – what is it you’d like insight or inspiration into? Use London as your personal creative treasure trove and find answers. This will take the form of a 90-minute walk where you’ll deliberately get lost and into a state of flow and then work to unravel your findings to answer your problem. Be prepared to tolerate ambiguity and trust your unconscious mind. This may be an uncomfortable experience for those who need to have instant answers – unless you’re willing to let go a little!
Founder Claire first experienced the dérive when was studying for her MSc in Creativity, Innovation & Leadership and found the whole experience illuminating, thought-provoking & it brought a whole new perspective to our approach to problem-solving. We have since embraced the creative powers of the dérive and the effects linger for a long time after the event itself. We’ve written about our personal experience of the dérive experience in more detail here.
The Creative Safari time can vary. If you have time to meander, or want to undertake a team bonding experience you can take 3 hours (90 mins walking, 90 mins working together, sharing and talking about what we’ve found over a coffee or a pint (depending on your mood and the yard arm). We can also do it in a shorter timeframe, of around an hour to 90 minutes.
The experience encompasses many different elements including random stimulus, pattern recognition and use of metaphor.
Who’s it for?
If your current creative process involves a lot of logic, reason and linear steps then this may not be for you. But if you’re prepared to experiment a little and try something new then come and join us on this creative adventure! Maybe you’re looking for a new perspective on an old problem or just want to shake up your creative process a little bit.
“With an always-on attitude to work it can be difficult to clear your head and drift in your own thoughts. The Creative Safari was extremely useful on facilitating a freeing of the mind – which in turn resulted in a fruitful session, full of ideas. It really helped me let go of the “nay-saying” thoughts around my brief, it gave me the clarity I needed to take a fresh approach, resulting in some great new ideas.” Tanya Harding-Keogh, 3 Monkeys PR
We can arrange the Creative Safari session for private groups and companies for up to around 15 people. Perhaps something a little different from your average company away day! Please contact us for more details on 07917 132672.
We also offer a different, immersive walking experience curated by the artist Charlotte Spencer for groups. Find out more about Walking Stories here.
Read more about our personal walking experiences in the blog here.