2018 Session Description

Objects of Genius
Unleash creative genius with an apple and a chair

For adults (teens welcome) • 90 minutes
Category: Creating
Thursday 10:45am • Court 4
Time and location subject to change (what isn’t?)

The Belgian painter René Magritte represented a simple apple in an extraordinary way. Like him, how might teachers or parents (and facilitators!) stimulate extraordinary skills by using ordinary objects? And what would other famous geniuses suggest if they had to ‘teach’ creativity with… an apple and a chair? This playful workshop invites participants to experiment with everyday objects like some major geniuses would. For example:

  • Ask questions like Darwin
  • Perceive in new ways like Charlie Chaplin
  • Classify like Mendeleev
  • Combine daringly like Gutenberg
  • Build up a story like Agatha Christie
  • Have ambitious dreams like Martin Luther King
  • Express your earnest self like Socrates…

We will conclude with a comprehensive vision of “creative education”. Creative geniuses embody the four basic skills that should be central in every learning: curiosity – imagination – critical sense – willpower. We will see how to build a workshop or lesson by following these four steps; and how to formulate stimulating challenges in the simplest way, by combining freedom and constraint. Participants will receive a small handbook (“Become a genius with an apple and a chair”) plus a summary of the theory of creativity and pedagogy, and a PDF set of posters “think like an awesome genius”.

The Skinny: 3 things you will do in this session

  • Discover how geniuses embody specific creative skills
  • Experiment with a set of activities based on these skills, using everyday objects
  • Gain insights about the links between learning and creative skills
Philippe Brasseur
Brabant, Belgium

Philippe Brasseur studied arts, communication sciences and pedagogy. He worked as an art director, then events organizer and editor in chief of children’s magazines.

Since 2002 he has been a freelance creator (writer & illustrator, painter, graphic facilitator) and “pro”-creator (creativity trainer, speaker, consultant). His two major audiences are companies (he works a lot with CEO’s on creativity and management) and schools (he is passionate about nurturing mental flexibility at the very heart of the curriculum).

As a writer and illustrator, he is the author of a few children’s books and of five books on creativity. These books are about how to be creative in education, with books, with objects, with art. His book How to Think Like an Absolute Genius will be published in English in September. He lives with his wife and four kids in a creative farm near Brussels.

This is Philippe’s first year presenting at Mindcamp.

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