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This perhaps is the eternal debate — structure or creativity, structure of creativity, structure at the expense of creativity or vice versa. What is ironic is that a simple Google search leads you to corporate companies having this discussion more than writers or artists or musicians. Creativity in the modern capitalist world is understood in terms of innovations leading to nothing less than windfall profits. Understandable, no doubt.

But most stable institutions, it is said, cannot work without structures. They could be weak or strong but there is a solid foundation on which they try to build the edifice. Take schools for example or colleges or universities. A classroom is the best example of a man-made structure, designed almost to perfection. And yet we have endless discussions and TED talks on how schools kill creativity.

It is therefore important to understand what we mean by both structure and creativity. Structure in the case of visual arts would mean the tools, the size of the artwork or anything to do with form; in music it would mean the sur; some would argue the same for writing of all kinds.

Most people agree that you need to have a good knowledge of structure in order to be able to defy it or bend it. No creative person can operate in a vacuum. But then there are examples of sportspeople who have experimented on the basis of their sheer talent and scaled new heights. The proponents of structure would say that such examples are occasional sparks while consistency comes with knowing and following structures.

Read also: Structure vs creativity

In today’s Special Report, we have tried to make some sense of this complex debate. It’s interesting to bring this into the domain of journalism which many believe is a relatively unstructured profession, where people from all kinds of disciplines find it easy to converge and flourish. Some even manage to become creative journalists.


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