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Dancing about Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity (Independent Thinking) (Independent Thinking Series) Hardcover – June 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1845907259 ISBN-10: 1845907256

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Dancing about Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity (Independent Thinking) (Independent Thinking Series) + A Technique for Producing Ideas: The simple, five-step formula anyone can use to be more creative in business and in life! + Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
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Product Details

  • Series: Independent Thinking
  • Hardcover: 83 pages
  • Publisher: Crown House Publishing (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845907256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845907259
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Dancing about Architecture: A Little Book of Creativity by Phil Beadle is unusual in that it is both a strong, pointed conceptual vision for the nature and origin of creativity, and a kind of activity book for grown-ups that invites you to learn how to implement the skill set of creativity through a series of hands-on exercises applicable wherever your creative journey may take you, from the studio to the classroom to the boardroom. --Brainpickings.org

I found the title intriguing and the focus on creativity very refreshing. I love the idea of 'maverick' teaching: doing what's best for the students and not what's best for results/inspectors/or anyone other than the students in your charge. "They deserve and desire you to be brilliant" is a great starting point for any lesson, and one I will be spreading!

I really enjoyed reading Dancing About Architecture, and have taken quite a lot of reinforcement from it: it's OK to try different things, to do what's best for the students, to be a maverick. The thoughts from the staff of Robert Napier School are fantastically 'odd,' and I think I will be referring back to them regularly for more inspiration! --Chris Trace

I remember saying a few years ago that in order for education to become relevant to our students, we would need to work hard to turn it into the new rock 'n roll! Well Phil Beadle may well be the lead guitarist of this new super group. Here is a book about teaching, and more importantly, learning that is; cool, irreverent and entertaining! From the reference to Frank Zappa in chapter one, I knew this book was pure Phil Beadle. Buy it, read it and get ready to rock out! --Richard Gerver

"It seems endemic to the human condition that we'll never cease longing for insight into where good ideas come from, how creativity works, its secrets, its origins, and the five-step action plan for making it manifest. This book is unusual in that it is both a strong, pointed conceptual vision for the nature and origin of creativity, and a kind of activity book for grown-ups that invites you to learn how to implement the skill set of creativity through a series of hands-on exercises applicable wherever your creative journey may take you, from the studio to the classroom to the boardroom.<CR> Much of the author's insights echo Sir Ken Robinson's work, but Beadle emphasizes another, in my opinion far more important, aspect of creativity: its combinatorial nature:<CR> We create the new not generally through some mad moment of inspiration in fictionalized accounts of ancient Greeks in baths (though the conditions for this can be forced into existence), but by putting things together that do not normally go together; from taking disciplines (or curriculum areas) and seeing what happens when they are forced into unanticipated collision. The mind, at its best, is a pattern-making machine, engaged in a perpetual attempt to impose order on to chaos; making links between disparate entities or ideas in order to better understand either or both. It is the ability to spot the potential in the product of connecting things that don't ordinarily go together that marks out the person (or teacher) who is truly creative.<CR> This point resonates deeply with the founding philosophy of Brain Pickings, and is one articulated by a great many thinkers and creators. Steve Jobs famously said that "creativity is just connecting things"; Paula Scher spoke of the mental collaging that sparks a moment of creation; As Austin Kleon put it, "you are a mashup of what you let into your life"; William Gibson called for cultivating "a personal micro-culture"; Paul Rand maintained that the role of the imagination is "to create new meanings and to discover connections that, even if obvious, seem to escape detection."<CR> In the foreword, Ian Gilbert articulates the same idea another way: "Nature abhors a vacuum and the same applies in your head. The trouble is, if there's nothing to replace the gap left behind when you clear out all your old rubbish then some new rubbish will come along to fill it... So, where do the new ideas come from to fill the void left by eliminating your old ones? This question of the derivation of ideas was one that was approached by an advertising man called James Webb Young in 1939. His short book, "A Technique for Producing Ideas", became the seminal book on how to get ideas, good ones, into your head... Webb Young suggests the following five-step plan to generating great ideas:<CR> [1] Gather the raw material <CR> [2] Digest the material <CR> [3] Don't think <CR> [4] Wait for the 'Ah ha!' moment to appear (and be ready when it does. Keep a notebook by your bed)<CR> [5] Expose your idea to the light of day and see if it stands up to the glare.<CR> Part of the first step that we often overlook, however, is the need to feed our brains with all sorts of raw material and not just the sort most related to our work. <CR>Dancing about Architecture goes on to explore, both in practical terms and as a broader cultural vision, how we can foster this combinatorial capacity in our individual creative journeys as well as in formal social frameworks like the education system and the workplace. ----Reviewed by Brain Pickings

I remember saying a few years ago that in order for education to become relevant to our students, we would need to work hard to turn it into the new rock 'n roll! Well Phil Beadle may well be the lead guitarist of this new super group. Here is a book about teaching, and more importantly, learning that is; cool, irreverent and entertaining! From the reference to Frank Zappa in chapter one, I knew this book was pure Phil Beadle. Buy it, read it and get ready to rock out! --Richard Gerver

About the Author

Phil Beadle teaches sentence structure through football skills, analyses poetry by dancing the verbs and is most renowned for teaching punctuation through kung fu moves, and teaching adults to read with space hoppers. He teaches English at a school in London and travels internationally indoctrinating teachers into being interesting. This is his fifth book. It is very much his favourite.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cato on March 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book cos i am having a dearth of ideas lately and trying to get back in contact with any or all types of inspiration. I heard about this book in relation to another book about creativity and coming up with ideas, and i thought what the hell, its reviewed well, love the title, so i bought this one too. But actually its not what i expected... its not about creativity per se, its about using creativity in teaching students. Since i have no interest in teaching students in a school, this is not quite what i was after. However it is well written and has interesting ideas, and definitely worth a read, generally. Bit annoying that "teaching" is not mentioned loud enough for me to notice in the blurbs (with my short attention span, sorry) but it does talk a LOT about creativity and coming up with ideas. I think I will get quite a bit out of it actually.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a bit of a dry read, but loaded with excellent information for teaching in the modern classroom.
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