Your Guide to

The Mechanics of Creativity

See the Steps to Create like Magic!

Excerpt from the Dan Zen Creativity Framework

The self-proclaimed, most creative person in the world, has made a Creativity Framework. What do the others say?

“There isn’t any aspect of creativity Dan Zen hasn’t explored.”
“Uncanny ability to elaborate on the spectrum of life.”
“Reverberates with creativity and brilliance — no doubt, Dan Zen is a genius.”
“Outside convention and subsequently teaches us how to see with new eyes.”
“A wonderful soul brewing with vivacity in his laboratory.”
“The most unique and creative person I have ever met.”
“Something new and radical, but still familiar enough so people can relate.”
“A special shiny thread in the fabric of this existence.”
“An amazing layered mind.”

If you can handle reading fifty more testimonials, they are listed at where you can also find the original framework. For more on Dan Zen see ◎ Your Guide to Inventor Dan Zen.

The Creativity Framework by Dan Zen

Creativity Framework

Inventor Dan Zen has spent fifty years being creative, twenty years analyzing creativity and ten years synthesizing the Philosophy of Nodism to which his wife suggested:

People might follow Nodism if you made it useful!

In response, Zen made the Creativity Framework based on the findings of Nodism. (Don’t worry, relax and be part of the Nodist Colony!) For more information see ◎ Your Guide to the Philosophy of Nodism

Our present guide will help you explore the Creativity Framework. Just make sure you prepare by examining all the diagrams below! Hahaha.

Sketches of Zen discovering Nodism
These ideas informed the Creativity Framework
Dan Zen TEDx talk: Simply Inventive —No More Waiting for Aha!

Creativity Framework Introduction

The Creativity Framework has two parts — context and content. See how the box (the framework) holds the two inner boxes (context and content). The curly antennae thing shows the same data splitting one thing into two parts. “Mapping” data in multiple ways is a principle of the framework.

Above the antennae is the Dan Zen vertical totem signature. It spells DAN going up and ZEN coming down. Each of the subsequent Dan Zen Website designs featured a different signature. This is the signature for the Dan Zen Museum. Other signatures are shown inside the museum.

The term Medium or Media is very important in the Information Age (although Zen says we are now in the Environmental Age). Despite the confusion and kerfuffle caused by another Canadian pundit, a medium is quite simple to describe:

A medium sits between — hot, cold and medium.
A spiritual medium sits between living and dead.

Pictured above is Zen wearing a mod-target wicker beret signed by the bass player of the Specials. Zen is actually performing a spectacular magic trick of his devising seen in this play list:

Please only watch if you have a spare few minutes! We warned you!

The screen capture has been modified to make Zen look like he is a Spiritual Medium looking into a crystal globe. But that is not just any globe… it is a Node Globe featuring a radial hierarchy. Zen programmed these to display fragments of XML (or HTML in the cases shown below).

Node Globes of radial hierarchies showing fragments of a Web page

Hierarchy is very important to the Framework so we will see a radial hierarchy again later.

These diagrams might remind you of Incan knots, as they are often spread radially, but it does not appear that they used hierarchy but rather counting.

At the bottom right corner of the 1.1 Creativity Framework slide is a little fellow that Zen is contacting. This is Marshall McLuhan, famous for declaring that the medium is the message. If McLuhan meant that the medium is the important thing to look at then perhaps. Traditionally the message is considered to be the content. Zen will flip the phrase around in the Framework to show that:

A message is a medium — Dan Zen

McLuhan is thinking, “Oh” as Zen visually defines context (the medium) and content (the message) in the first part of the Framework. Zen will then move to the second part to describe how to be creative with relevance using the Framework. This is explained in:


We look forward to bringing you the next parts of the guide. The framework has been presented hundreds of times but this will be the first written guide. Hopefully, what you have seen has piqued your interest. If so, you may also want to explore these other guides:

We leave you for now with words from a man who has devoted his adult life to understanding the nature of creativity:

“I’ve always maintained that creativity is the act of connecting things in unexpected ways, and looked for tools that assist in strengthening creative abilities. The Creativity Framework by Dan Zen helps you break down (analyze) or build up (synthesize) the creative process, providing perspective, definition and clarity. Assimilating Zen’s thoughts about content and context will permanently alter your perspective on creativity.” — Jason Theodor

All the best,

Dr Abstract

Inventor, Founder of ZIM JavaScript Canvas Framework and Nodism, Professor of Interactive Media at Sheridan, Canadian New Media Awards Programmer and Educator

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