The chaotic artist’s studio. The writer’s desk piled high with a jumble of papers.
These are iconic images. (Just look at this famous picture of Einstein’s desk on the day he died.)
Creative genius, these images seem to say, is facilitated by clutter.
Some studies, including this one, described in this New York Times article, even suggest that messy environments encourage originality and a search for novelty. (Though it’s interesting to note that the same study suggested that a tidy, orderly environment tends to inspire healthier dietary choices.)*
What this study didn’t investigate, though, is the difference between mess and clutter. [Read more…]