Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found.[1] Improvisation, in the performing arts is a very spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of improvisation can apply to many different faculties, across all artistic, scientific, physical, cognitive, academic, and non-academic disciplines; see Applied improvisation.

Improvisation also exists outside the arts. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials immediately at hand. Improvised weapons are often used by guerrillas, insurgents and criminals.


An improvised surveyors level made from a camera tripod, a contractors level and a sniper scope.

Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials immediately at hand[2]. Examples of such improvisation was the re-engineering of carbon dioxide scrubbers with the materials on hand during the Apollo 13 space mission[3], or the use of a knife in place of a screwdriver to turn a screw.

Improvised street bench in Naples (Italy), made from wooden pallet
An improvised cowbell, used for sheep or goats. The bell was found in 1988 in a field near Tuqu' (Tekoa) in the West Bank. The bell's body is made of aluminum, probably a broken kitchen utensil, while the clapper is a brass cartridge case (SMI 25 NATO, probably 7.62×51mm).
Improvised hat cover of an Orthodox Jew on a rainy day in Tel Aviv.

Engineering improvisations may be needed because of emergencies, embargo, obsolescence of a product and the loss of manufacturer support, or just a lack of funding appropriate for a better solution. Users of motor vehicles in parts of Africa develop improvised solutions[4] where it is not feasible to obtain manufacturer-approved spare parts[5].

The popular television program MacGyver used as its gimmick a hero who could solve almost any problem with jury rigged devices from everyday materials, a Swiss Army knife and some duct tape.

Other Languages
العربية: ارتجال
asturianu: Improvisación
azərbaycanca: İmprovizasiya
български: Импровизация
català: Improvisació
Deutsch: Improvisation
español: Improvisación
euskara: Inprobisazio
한국어: 즉흥
հայերեն: Իմպրովիզացիա
hrvatski: Improvizacija
Bahasa Indonesia: Improvisasi
italiano: Improvvisazione
עברית: אלתור
қазақша: Импровизация
Кыргызча: Импровизация
lietuvių: Improvizacija
Limburgs: Improvisatie
Nederlands: Improvisatie
日本語: 即興
norsk nynorsk: Improvisasjon
occitan: Improvisacion
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Improvizatsiya
română: Improvizație
русский: Импровизация
Simple English: Improvisation
svenska: Improvisation
Türkçe: Doğaçlama
Türkmençe: Improwizasiýa
українська: Імпровізація