They Key to a Creative Partnership: Don't Argue When You're Hungry

Partnerships are always challenging, but that challenge also offers room to create something that you could never have created all alone.

Partnerships are always challenging, but that challenge also offers room to create something that you could never have created all alone.  In Spark: How Creativity Works, one of the partnerships that I write about is the one between the architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown who have worked together and lived together for more than 40 years.  They’re very different people.  


Their work is extraordinary and they talked about the need for conflict in what it is they do. Robert Venturi talks about how a friend of theirs helped him understand that what they did was a kind of mutual critique.  And he said, “I'll come up with an idea and I'll look to Denise to say "All right this is working and this is not and that is how we move each other’s ideas forward.”

And Denise jumped in and said, “Yes and often one of us will come in and say that is not working at all.”  And the first one will say, “What do you mean it’s not working?”  “I think it’s working.”  And then we’ll go away and the next day the person whose work was being critiqued would say, “I hear what you said and here, this is what I've just done.”, and suddenly it’s moved forward.  

And so the willingness to hold that kind of tension is really hard either as a creative partner or as a partner in life, so doing it in both parts of their lives they said part of the way they’ve been able to make it work is not to bring work home.  The moment they get in the car to drive home they’re husband and wife and they try not to talk about work problems and Denise Scott Brown had one of the best pieces of advice I think I've heard about any kind of partnership whether it’s personal or in terms or work, which is don’t argue if you’re hungry, make sure you’ve eaten before your get into whatever it is you’ve got to talk about.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less