Oblique Strategies

I recently listened to a TEDTalk by Tim Harford entitled ‘How frustration can make us more creative’ (Ted Talk, 2015). He discussed how difficulties encountered during creative activities can often lead to surprisingly good outcomes.

In his last example Harford introduced a deck of cards called ‘Oblique strategies’ produced by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Eno uses the cards during music recording sessions when creativity wanes. A card is drawn at random from the deck. Each card contains a disruptive instruction which must be followed. The idea being that frustration, difficulty and being forced out of one’s comfort zone aids the creative process.

I first used the cards when doing EYV Exercise 4.5 which requires a creative response to a Google image search. The card I randomly picked contained the following instruction:

To find out how I got on see EYV Exercise 4.5


Ted Talk (2015). How frustration make us more creative. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford_how_messy_problems_can_inspire_creativity/discussion?awesm=on.ted.com_9Njl#t-686994 [Accessed 6 Apr. 2018].

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