Creativity has long been a topic of interest and a subject of study for psychologists, who analyse it from several perspectives. From the cognitive perspective, researchers attempt to identity the specific processes and structures which contribute to creative acts, whilst from the socio-cultural perspective they try to demonstrate that artistic innovations emerge from joint thinking and exchanges among people. According to the latter, creativity indeed does not happen only inside our heads: the interaction between people's thoughts and a socio-cultural context is fundamental.
In this paper we argument that the socio-cultural perspective makes it possible to define a sound and articulated vision which allows to consider specific social aspects of creative activity in relation to the design of artefacts. Firstly we present the MANC++, a model of narrative and creative activity which constitutes a theoretical basis to understand the process and the conditions that elicit individual and social creativity. Secondly we present two vignettes taken from our researches that encapsulate the potentiality of the MANC++ to develop formal and informal learning environments as well as educative artefacts to support the creative process. The first vignette concerns the design of "active tools" to enhance children's creativity in formal educational environments. The second vignette deals with artefacts supporting informal joint creative activities for community development. Further on we discuss the relevance of this approach considering new forms of social activities and the development of a participatory culture which is rapidly evolving due to the use of new technologies.
In Gauntlett's words, we are moving from a "sit-back-and-be-told culture to a making-and-doing culture". The socio-cultural perspective allows us to rethink how technologies should be used by people to share, build on, be inspired or transform their productions in order to create new products.
The full text of this article is available in English and Spanish.The Spanish version is made possible thanks to our partner, the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). // El texto integro de este artículo está disponible en inglés y castellano. La versión castellana ha sido posible gracias a nuestro socio, la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).