top of page
  • Writer's pictureTeo Dimov

Are We Killing Our Creativity?

Over 8.7 million deaths are attributed to air pollution...annually.

That damage, however, might just be gleaning the tip of the iceberg. The quality of air, a physiological necessity, actually triggers effects up the pyramid of needs, where cognition is king.

One study demonstrates that poor air quality significantly impacts "semantic fluency and domains of executive functions"—two facets of creative leadership. A Harvard team, while arriving at near identical results, phrased their findings differently: "Office air quality may affect employees’ cognition, productivity".

Guess which one caused more of a stir?

In a corporate structure dominated by the unrelenting quest for hyper-production, headlines framed to target business needs dominate. The brain effects, however, are concerning regardless of the level at which they are observed. Scaled to society, cognitively sedated communities lack the sharp edge of innovation—they cannot wield the blade of creativity that carves out progress as we've grown to know it.

Why do I say that?

Creativity relies on several levels of cognition. What we observed must first be compartmentalized into generic ideas (paths well trodden). Through divergent thought, unoriginal ideas coalesce into something that not only exceeds the sum of its parts: it bears little resemblance of that parts whatsoever. We often believe creative thoughts to spring as lightbulbs, not circuits we have built up through years of curated observation.

All this to say: creativity is complex. Any compromises to the process threaten much more than individual health—they threaten progress.

In a ripe startup environment, companies like Smart Air are working on purifying indoor climates, while others such Carbon Engineering are creating larger scale carbon solutions. Their efforts represent the fight to preserve our health, along with what makes us human.


bottom of page