The creative process is not just iterative; it’s also recursive. It plays out “in the large” and “in the small”—in defining the broadest goals and concepts and refining the smallest details. It branches like a tree, and each choice has ramifications, which may not be known in advance. Recursion also suggests a procedure that “calls” or includes itself. Many engineers define the design process as a recursive function: discover > define > design > develop > deploy

The creative process involves many conversations—about goals and actions to achieve them—conversations with co-creators and colleagues, conversations with oneself. The participants and their language, experience, and values affect the conversations.