Thinking Inside the Box


Thinking inside a box is not easy.  We may get inspiration and improve our thinking if we are sitting or walking outside a box  (go here to read a blog post). But is that true? Are there boxes that may help us to exercise our creative muscles? Look at the pictures and imagine that you are sitting inside these structures. Do you get inspired? Why? Why not?

The Danish architects Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen wanted to create a”‘people’s meeting dome”. A deconstructed geodesic dome, a mathematically resolved and structurally efficient shape with a geometric wooden frame composed of triangles.  I imagine this dome as being  equivalent to being outside a box, that is , I would get more inspiration and my creative problem solving skills would improve.

  • The lights dances and is reflected in this dome.
  • Calming geometric design that still is intriguing and inspiring.
  • There are triangles and everywhere and it is interesting to search for them.


The Free Spirit Spheres also captures my interest.  But despite its fascinating shape, it may be  too small and dark.

The UFO Tree House, well the name itself convinces me that this a great place for some serious thinking.


Piet Blom’s unique cubes within the city centre of Rotterdam is intriguing. He tilted a traditional, cube-shaped house 45 degrees and lifted it on a hexagon-shaped pylon. Each of the houses represent a tree and all together they represent a forest. The cubes do not have any straight walls inside, so you have to be a genius in home decoration. I am convinced  that thinking improves inside these cubes.

  • Angles and lack of straight corners.
  • Light is penetrating in different ways.
  • Can imagine that I am in a forest filled with trees and blue sky.


But what happens if we spend five days a week in these boxes or live in them? When we get used to things, we often stop noticing their beauty. We forget to look and with time the positive effects of these structures could diminish.

Elkonon Goldberg suggests that the underlying principles that lies behind left and right hemispheres of the brain is that we have to ask ourselves whether we have confronted a challenge before. The right hemisphere is organised principally to deal with novel challenges, while the left hemisphere is concerned with familiar routines (in most humans). If we are a trained artist, we process art principally in the left hemisphere, and if we are not a trained artist, we rely on the right hemisphere. There is a shift from the right to the left with competence. And maybe that is influencing our thinking inside boxes. After a while, we get used to the box and less inspired. We need to constantly challenge ourselves and look at things to be inspired. Maybe we also need to change boxes or simply step outside the box. Creative thinking takes place in an environment and awareness of how this influences our thinking is a step towards the constant search for suitable Thinkibility boxes.

Photos from a book by Taschen, Tree Houses. Fairy Tale Castles in the Air.

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