An autopoietic systems theory for creativity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a new, non-psychological and non-sociological approach to understanding creativity is proposed. The approach is based on autopoietic system theory, where an autopoietic system is defined as a unity whose organization is defined by a particular network of production processes of elements. While the theory was originally proposed in biology and then applied to sociology, I have applied it to understand the nature of creation, and called it "Creative Systems Theory". A creative system is an autopoietic system whose element is "discovery", which emerges only when a synthesis of three selections has occurred: "idea", "association", and "consequence". With using these concepts, we open the way to understand creation itself separated from psychic and social aspects of creativity. On this basis, the coupling between creative, psychic, and social systems is discussed. I suggest, in this paper, the future of creativity studies, re-defining a discipline "Creatology" for inquiring creative systems and propose an interdisciplinary field as "Creative Sciences" for interdisciplinary connections among creatology, psychology, and so on.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event1st Collaborative Innovation Networks Conference, COINs2009 - Savannah, GA, United States
Duration: 2009 Oct 82009 Oct 11


Other1st Collaborative Innovation Networks Conference, COINs2009
CountryUnited States
CitySavannah, GA



  • autopoiesis
  • creativity
  • pattern language
  • systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Iba, T. (2010). An autopoietic systems theory for creativity. In Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences (4 ed., Vol. 2, pp. 6610-6625)