Let's talk about Purpose


There is no creativity without purpose. Aesthetic and craft are not purposeful and creative themselves.

Today more than ever we are needed to inform & inspire through creativity. To show how things should be. We have the calling, as human beings, to create purposefully.

While it is encouraging to see youth making things, the reality is that WITHOUT REAL-WORLD PURPOSE, CREATIVITY IS DEAD. We must make a departure from “class”, “felt pens”, and “hack-a-thons” that cannot serve our urgent societal needs.


The best thing about a community is that when I hit difficult concepts, I can ask.
Because I do not get this.

Was Beethoven not creative? Mozart? Their purposes were not real world other than to inspire or entertain. Would not a child with a felt pen who makes a drawing for their family be similarly creative?


good questions. Yes, all of it is creative. I think @jpaskett just means to ask, “How might we teach creativity in a way that inspires agency in our students, agency to create solutions to the complex problems we face?” It’s an important question. I’d love to hear best practices on this. And more about WHY this is an important goal to strive for.


I’d like to contribute to this conversation the viewpoint that creativity, art, and solicitude are interrelated but different. As far as I know, many artists eschew utility as a matter of doctrine, but may become politicized under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., Guernica). On the other hand, I recall a statement by Orson Welles (because it was interesting and I didn’t fully understand it) - that in his film adaptation of Kafka’s Trial, he changed the conclusion because he was working in a post-Holocaust world. This too was an expression of doctrine.


This is a good point, I think. I agree with @rubinilaforest that creativity is much broader, and that it can be purposeless (we saw some onion art this weekend! :smile:). Yet the idea of leading that creative effort towards real world problems & solutions for them is SO powerful…

This reminded me of Design for Change, a project launched by a school in India that is now working in many countries. The core idea is to give groups of kids the tools (basically a very simple strategy inspired in design thinking) to create solutions for real world problems they detect around, either in school or town or whatever.

It’s a very interesting and inspiring project, you can check out its founder Kiran bir Sethi’s TEDx Talk here:


Hi @rubinilaforest
Yes!! That is super creative. And purposeful statements.

Have you ever read Godel, Escher, and Bach? I haven’t made it all the way through this opus. Yet, am informed by the proofs within. Musical. Mathematics. Visuals.


Hi @dalsdorf.
Good examples of purposeful and creative works.



I have been working on my statement of intent for grad school. And the experience – the human experience. Inspired to create on these topics, purposefully. Inspiration is the human feeling of creativity. Creativity flow; Design.

Rough draft.


This is great! I resonate with the feeling of creativity in Design for Change.




… actually my artistic onion was a carbon monoxide detector (masked by funny object :joy: :joy::joy:)



Umm. Respectfully, I see what you were going for. Though for many, that is triggering. As to be associated with the death of loved ones at a roadside. It could prolly be said better.

Was this a joke about the death of our earth?? I think I get it.



Thanks for your advice @jpaskett, I apologize, I did not want to be disrespectful.
(Toxic Toby is the teddy bear that warns you of high levels of pollution in London)


No worries. Maybe this could be more of a wearable. A hoodie that notifies when pollution is around? Sweatshirts provide the ‘snuggly’ teddy bear feeling.