Design Thinking (DT) is a very demanding creativity and innovation paradigm. It forces project members to face multiple approaches, frequent perspective changes, as well as continuous decision-making. It requires a lot of commitment and personal engagement, thus changing people’s views on their standard work practices.
Those complex changes may influence short- and long-term personal mood states and cause drops in subjective wellbeing. We refer to this process as “post-creativity frustration”. Psychology has classified mood drops and depression as ranging from natural processes that helps with concentrating on own needs to very serious mental illnesses.
Creativity and decision processes have previously been linked to depression in several contexts. A popular myth considers manic-depressive artists to be outstandingly expressive and imaginative. Also, many thinkers and philosophers are reported to develop similar symptoms, while excelling in their particular fields. Similar effects occur also in people’s daily lives. For instance, making decisions causes some sense of loss, which may issue in post-decisive (cognitive) dissonance or another chronic form of emotional discomfort.
All those forms of mental states have strong influence on people’s life. In extreme cases, (re)construction of work or personal practices and routines becomes difficult or almost impossible. Does this also hold for fluctuation in ones mental states that follow on intensive creativity phases? Within this project we aim at answering questions like:
1. What are the factors that describe people’s mental states during and after an intensive creative phase?
2. What are the long-term consequences of DT experience for one’s wellbeing?
3. What are the possible steps to facilitate a “return to normalcy” after a DT phase?