We found this wonderful image on instagram with the caption, “Parisians navigate flood waters by walking across rows of chairs, 1924”.
It’s a seriously good improvisation to a serious challenge. In those days, Paris had LOTS of strong, waterproof cafe chairs. Seen though the lens of need — of the idea of bridges, perhaps — chairs became an answer.
It’s a fine example of Anni Albers enduring observation:
Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials.
Human beings are born to improvise, to “listen to that which wants (or needs) to be done”. Even if the answers take a while.
How many times in our life have we been faced with a difficult problem, and looked around and “seen” the answer, usually in a form we didn’t expect. Looking back, we realize we’ve always gotten an answer and found a way through.