This article offers a reflection on the role of material objects in the creative process and explores the potential links between creativity and the theory of affordances (Gibson, ), conceptualized from a sociocultural perspective. From this standpoint, creativity can be defined as a process of perceiving, exploiting, and “generating” novel affordances during socially and materially situated activities. Illustrations are offered for each of the above from a research project investigating traditional Easter egg decoration activities in rural Romania. This brief case study exemplifies the discovery of existing action potentials, the generation of objects with novel affordances, and the transgression of conventional procedures, all resulting in creative forms of expression. In the end, some conclusions are drawn regarding the ways in which an affordance theory of creativity can enrich our understanding of the phenomenon and contribute to the development of a new program of research concerned with situated and distributed creative acts.
Journal of Creative Behavior, 2012, Vol 46, Issue 3, p. 192-208