We tend to think of creativity as the generation or apparition of new ideas, which can then be put into action. I call this “ideation”. This view of creativity is probably so strong because we take our paradigmatic examples of creativity in specific domains like scientific or technological innovation, writing novels or creating music. But when we focus on activities that are not usually framed as being purely intellectual, like parkour, this two step process, inventing ideas in your head, then applying them to the world, might not work that well. It misses the tight link between action and perception, the direct interaction of the body and the environment.

Here, I want to pursue this line of thinking, which is very relevant for teaching creativity in sports and physical activities. I will argue that we need to move a few steps away from the ideation approach if we want to understand motor creativity. Using the frameworks of ecological-dynamics, we can understand how using constraints can benefit creativity. In part 2, I will explore a few methods and principles to promote the emergence of creative motor solutions.