ICR holds annual public seminars. Details of our 2011 seminar are below, with links to those of previous years. Our 2012 seminar will be held in the autumn, with details to follow.INSPIRATION AND THE CREATIVE SPARK
8 and 9 October 2011
The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental and African Studies
10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1
Why do ideas sometimes come flooding in and at other times become blocked? This seminar will examine the nature of inspiration. Looking across history, cultures, companies and individuals, it will investigate how we have ideas and asks if there such a thing as external inspiration?
Is the impression of receiving an idea from outside a function of how our brains work? Do artistic and scientific breakthroughs have more in common than we generally think?
We will examine the moment when the spark connects…and look at ways we can all stimulate our creativity.
- Neurologist Adam Zeman explores the roots of creative imagination
in the workings of the human brain, highlighting particularly
our highly developed capacity to escape from the here and
- Novelist Shamila Kamsie asks: How does fiction happen? How do you start
from a single image and end up with a 350 page novel? She will lay bare the tension
between the need to create within a structure, while avoiding the formulaic and
making something fresh and new.
- BBC creative director Simon Elmes talks about the basic building
blocks of creativity and how we can foster a climate where
ideas and innovation can flourish in a corporate environment.
- Psychologist Ilona Roth examines the strange paradox of how
the closed and repetitive world of those with autism can often
produce startlingly creative talents and asks: what does autism
tell us about human imagination?
- Entrepreneur and inventor Greg Fraley borrows from the
world of improvisational comedy to bring us a practical session
to help us make creative choices in our lives.
- Professor of medieval literature Elizabeth Archibald asks how
we can explain the sudden flourishing of creativity in twelfth
century Europe that produced the chivalric romances of King
Arthur and the ideals of courtly love.
- Engineer and musician David Kayrouz gives a short practical
session to show how we can enlarge the landscape of our imagination.
- Artist Susan Aldworth looks for her Muse and talks about the nature of inspiration in relation to the worlds of neuroscience and philosophy.
The seminar ran from 10am till 4pm on Saturday 8th October and from 10am till 3.15pm on Sunday 9th October