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Creativity used to be seen as something peculiar to artists, designers and dissidents. Now it is considered essential for survival in the current labour, attentiveness and relations markets. It is already the social norm to market your own «labour force» as an entrepreneur in your own right, and to use periods without work and temporary appointments efficiently. Ability to organise yourself, creativity and self-motivation have become models for the «information workers» of the future, and so have some qualities with «female» connotations: intuition, reflexivity, social competence and group responsibility, which are also seen as essential for commercial innovation. Subcultural practices and non-conformist living models no longer disturb the business flow in a company either, but are even said to increase productivity. Artists and designers are taken as the model here.
Creativity is therefore seen as a key asset by a whole range of social institutions and interest groups - but also increasingly as a key necessity. Lifestyle magazines, management concepts, the New Economy, the restructured labour market, educational policy, all these make creativity - in the form of a resource that can be individually activated - into a promise that you can - and must- make your personal success your own business.

The Be Creative! exhibition took a look at these changing concepts and the social design process that goes with them. It included company mission statements, working organisations, design concepts and motivation tools that have profoundly changed everyday life in the workplace, and took in the educational system as well. It considered very recent town planning developments demonstrating these social changes; there have been interviews and film projects where designers, artists and employees can have their say about their everyday working lives and the situation in the education world. At the same time the exhibition takes a new look at utopian models for living, learning and working against this background.

The exhibition was staged as a modern space for living and working, ranging from the loft to the open-plan office, alternating production and regeneration, and using games tables, advisory literature and chillout zones. The exhibition was interactive, and tried to examine culturalization processes on a local and an international level.
The exhibition "Be Creative! The creative imperative" took place from 30 November 2002 to 02. March 2003 at Museum für Gestaltung Zürich

The exhibition started with a conference introducing the Leipzig project's art- and design-historical in Zurich with contributions from Beatrice von Bismarck (art historian, Berlin/Leipzig), Sabeth Buchmann (art historian and critic, Berlin), Helmut Draxler (cultural historian and curator, Munich).
As well as this, four evening events with invited guests offered more detailed discussion of the exhibition themes:
03.12.2002 The training situation for designers HKGZ; 10.12.2002 Boom town Zurich ; 21.01.2003 Working conditions in the IT industry; 28.01.2003 Creativity and intelligence as requirements


Be creative! Der kreative Imperativ, Anleitung, Edition Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, 2002

Norm der Abweichung, Marion von Osten (Hrg.), Edition Voldemeer /Springer Verlag, 2003

More material:

Deutsche Projektzusammenfassung
(.pdf zum downloaden, 16K)

10/2003 - Labor k3000