In art, architecture, and design, creativity is often referred to as an abstract concept, an intangible idea. Usually mentioned in relation to nimble thought processes and innovative schemes, creativity is also connected with concrete objects displaying originality, resourcefulness, and ingenious design. “Admired as inventiveness, problem solving, insightfulness, originality, and discovery of personal potential, creativity encompasses a broad variety of meanings,” Amy F. Ogata writes (1). It is an “elastic term,” she adds, one that is “difficult to define and to measure with any precision” (193). Yet in Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America Ogata traces with conviction the important role played by this elusive...

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