I have been meaning to write to you but just haven't found a minute free.
I wanted to suggest to you to try and find a book by Bruno Munari called
Fantasy which is excellent and discusses the above. I have it in Italian
and can try and translate some of it for you:
"Fantasy is everything that didn't exist before even if it is not possible
"Invention is everything that didn't exist before but exclusively practical
and without consideration to esthetics.
"Creativity is everything that didn't exist before but it is possible to
realize in an essential and global manner...
"Imagination sees what fantasy, invention and creativity think of.
He talks about all four of these qualities and with regard to imagination
says:" Imagination in some people is very weak, in others it is very
active, and in yet others it goes beyond what one is able to think......The
product of fantasy,creativity and invention, springs from the relationship
between thought and what is known. It is evident that one cannot imagine a
relationship between something you don't know or even between something you
know and something you don't know. For example, you can't imagine a
relationship between a sheet of glass and a PFZWS. You can however,
establish a relationship between a sheet of glass and a sheet of rubber, if
you know what glass is and what rubber is.........fantasy could imagine
elastic glass or transparent rubber.....etc.etc. ......Fantasy, therefore
will be more or less rich depending on if the number of relationships that
an individual can make. An individual with a limited culture cannot have a
great fantasy.......if he knows few things he can imagine few things......He
can only arrive at a certain point and then must stop....
If we wish children to become creative persons, with a developed
fantasy,..we must make sure that the child is exposed to as many stimulus as
He goes on to suggest various exercises for children that are a lot of fun.
One is to tear up a sheet of paper in odd forms and shapes and then have
students make each shape into something by drawing on it, according to what
is suggested by the form. He says many children who refused to draw before,
were enthusiastic about drawing on these shapes.....
Another exercise is inventing a personal alphabet. Children are shown
examples of all kinds of alphabets, from Chinese, to Sanscrit to Greek to
Russian to Japonese, Arabic etc. and discussion is held on how different
alphabets are also considered aesthetic works of art.....i.e. arabic or
oriental brush painting of alphabet etc. The students are asked to invent
their own aesthetically pleasing alphabet and then write a message in that
alphabet. Kids love this because it like their own secret language and they
then write messages to each other with their new alphabet....The book is
full of many illustrations and is great fun...try to find it in English.