Lateral thinking?

Lateral thinkers leave well-trodden paths, branch off into new channels of thought, and thus begin to think “out of the box” — like this astonished figure from a drawing by artist Heike Kati Barath. Photograph: Paolo Bianchi

Paolo Bianchi, what is lateral thinking?

Skeptics claim that since the term has no fixed definition, it is merely an airy-fairy buzzword. In actual fact, the opposite is the case: in 1967, the British psychologist Edward de Bono developed the method of lateral thinking, which means thinking crossways or around the corner. The underlying conviction is that the best ideas can be developed from crazy proposals. De Bono explains: “You don’t dig a second hole if you deepen an existing one. Lateral thinking is used to dig a hole elsewhere.” Lateral thinkers cannot be easily pigeonholed. Such out-of-the-box thinkers need the rampant, the crooked, the warped. They avoid purposeful straightforwardness and let themselves be guided via irritating detours. Lateral thinking is an act and not a thing. It activates neglected resources and turns them into a creative power. It bypasses habits to set thinking free for new views and experiences. Every unforeseen experience unlocks a new experiential space within us. The routines of inner and outer processes undergo a process of transformation, in which established behavioural patterns are shaken by subversion. This creates moments of openness for deviations, for the unplanned and previously unavailable, all nurtured by unconscious forces.

Information event CAS Creationship
Saturday, 29 June 2019, 10am–3pm
Toni-Areal, room 7.E02, level 7, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zurich
CAS Creationship
The above text is the translation of an excerpt from the following interview with Paolo Bianchi (in German):
Veronika Schuster: Irritierende Umwege gehen. In: Das Magazin von Kultur Management Network, Nr. 142/2019, S. 25–31.
In this section, experts from around ZHdK offer brief reflections on key terms and concepts in the arts and culture. The result is a constantly expanding glossary.
Paolo Bianchi ( is a lecturer at the Department of Cultural Analysis and the founding director and co-head of the CAS Creationship.
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