I just heard a fascinating interview on NPR with Jonah Lehrer promoting his new book on creativity, Imagine: How Creativity Works. In this interview with NPR, he tells the story of Steve Jobs’ desire to create creative cross-pollination among a diverse campus of creatives at their one an only common facility: the bathrooms. Check it out!
“[Jobs] insisted there be only two bathrooms in the entire Pixar studios, and that these would be in the central space. And of course this is very inconvenient. No one wants to have to walk 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. And yet Steve insisted that this is the one place everyone has to go every day. And now you can talk to people at Pixar and they all have their ‘bathroom story.’ They all talk about the great conversation they had while washing their hands.
” He wanted there to be mixing. He knew that the human friction makes the sparks, and that when you’re talking about a creative endeavor that requires people from different cultures to come together, you have to force them to mix; that our natural tendency is to stay isolated, to talk to people who are just like us, who speak our private languages, who understand our problems. But that’s a big mistake. And so his design was to force people to come together even if it was just going to be in the bathroom.”
For more fascinating facts and stories from the Jonah Lehrer interview on NPR go to ‘How Creativity Works’: It’s All In Your Imagination.