Top 10 Portfolio Sydney Koller

My top 10 favorite activities and assignments during Creativity in Context - Spring Semester.

Straw Tower

The competition was to see who could build the tallest standing straw tower. The class was divided into groups. There were two members in each group that were assigned a disability. We weren't supposed to tell the others what our disability was. I was technically blind. I had to shut my eyes the entire time my group built our straw tower. It was really frustrating for me because I felt useless in my group. I tried raising my voice to get the other kids attention but they wouldn't listen to me. There was a group leader who took control and I was not that person. My disability completely limited my chance at leadership and I was not able to contribute to the group at all. Despite my frustration, the activity was still a lot of fun. I'm sure it was also really funny to watch me try to contribute. Unfortunately our group did not win but I was listening to everyone throw around really interesting and creative ideas for our straw tower.

Children's Learning Toy

In these photos my group is building our prototype for a children's learning tool. Dimensional thinking was a really difficult but interesting process. The team had to transform a 2D scaled drawing into a 3D prototype! We had many failures and the team got very frustrated at many times. The materials were not sticking together and the sizing was off. However, it was also a lot of fun to pass ideas back and forth and build off of what each other suggest to fix the problem. The final prototype showed some unique characteristics because we had to improvise with some of our materials. It was also an extremely eye-opening experience being in the printing room. No one in our group had ever seen 3D printing before. It is amazing to see the technology we have access to!

30 Day Challenge: Week 2

I really enjoyed this specific week of the 30 day challenge. I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. Clearly I am not the most artistic person in the world but I wanted to practice drawing for this set of 10 days. This task definitely challenged me to tap into the most creative part of my brain. I had the problem of running out of ideas. However, my biggest problem was making my ideas come to life in my journal! It forced me to go outside and look at nature and animals to get inspiration. Observing nature stimulated ideas in my head for this assignment. If it wasn't for this assignment I would have never tested out my skills and now I am really interested in practicing drawing.

Recognizing Patterns

In class we were told to take a picture of a non-living object that we could later abstract with a living object at home. The goal was to recognize and form patterns. The challenge was really difficult because everyone's perspective is different. I might see a pattern that no one else sees. It was my job to make sure that others would recognize the pattern of the upwards lines and the cactus stems. This put some stress on the assignment because I was determined to get a good grade. I am really proud of the work I did because the entire class recognized the similarity between the two objects. I also really enjoyed looking at everyone else's work. It was really intriguing to watch because we were basically looking through each others eyes.

IA Speaker Series #1

This was the first IA speaker series event we had to attend. When I first walked into the gym I had no idea what to expect. I was definitely not ready for what Liz Lerman had in store for us. Despite my reluctance to participate in some particular dancing activities, I had a lot of fun being awkward and uncomfortable in those moments. The purpose of her activity was to show us the effect body thinking has on creativity. Body thinking was the communication we were sharing with each other through our body language and not our words. The group of girls I was standing with felt the same way I did and we actually became a lot closer throughout the event. The most interesting part for me was to watch people stand with their eyes closed waiting for someone to guide them. I was able to see their vulnerability through their body language. Liz Lerman did an amazing job at teaching us the importance of body thinking and I will never forget this experience!

Empathy Journal

This was quite literally was an eye-opening experience. It forced me to actually take a look around me and notice people and things that I would never have noticed before. I had to remember to keep each observation related to health but in all honesty everything I naturally observed could be related back to health effects. It is crazy to think about the variety of factors that can affect your well-being. Empathy is when you feel what someone or something else feels. Learning about empathy made me more sensitive to others thoughts and feelings. I think the video about the hospital played a significant role in that. That video had a major effect on how I treat people. Empathy is not only an important creative thinking tool but most importantly a characteristic everyone should have and use!

Creative Person's Resume

Bill Nye "The Science Guy" is my hero. The fact that I got to research someone who inspires me every single day made this a very important assignment to me! The task required us to look into a creative person's past and discover what led up to their innovation. What was there process? How long did it take? What did they fail and succeed at? This assignment made me realize that you don't have to be a creative person to do creative things. Innovation doesn't always come from a lightbulb in your head. Learning about Bill Nye and hearing about students talk about their resumes proved to me that it can take a lot of work to be successful. There were multiple people who dedicated their whole life to their creative process. The only thing that matters is you're investing actual time into what you are interested in creating.

30 Day Challenge: Week 1

The first set of 10 days was extremely beneficial for the rest of my life. It was a lot of fun discovering the different activities I had to complete. I love the whole idea of opening up the creative side of our brains. The photo above represents activity #15- writing for 15 minutes straight. I've always been a decent writer so I thought this task would come easy to me. The only problem was that I had nothing to write about. The only idea popping into my head was my friend Robert. I decided to wing it and write about how his life and death affected mine. I wrote four pages on how much he means to me but in the moment I felt like I could write an entire novel. Activity #15 changed my life. Since this project was assigned, I have been writing down how I feel about everything; I feel so much better.

30 Day Challenge: Week 3

The final 10 days took me by surprise. I thought that writing 6 word memoirs would be easy but I was mistaken. This was actually a very challenging set of 10 days for me! I think that I underestimated the task because it seemed so short. In reality, it took the longest to complete. The reason it took me so long was because I wanted each memoir to really mean something to me. The most personal memoirs are italicized above. I tried to think about different parts of my life to include for every memoir. I reflect on some of the words I wrote daily. I wrote about the way I choose to live my life and it is a nice reminder every day to follow this advice.

IA Speaker Series #2

Mark S. Long gave an inspiring lecture about the simplicity of ideas and transforming them into reality. His impressive background made me trust what he was saying to us. Long talked about how and where innovation starts and how and where it finishes. It all starts with observing a problem then figuring out out to solve it. He proved this by providing real life examples of students from his past who became successful entrepreneurs. Long's lecture was incredibly inspirational because he convinced me that even my smallest and simplest ideas can become something greater than me. He even mentioned the creative thinking tools that we learned in class! Overall, the lecture was really amazing and I learned a lot. He changed my perspective on transforming ideas into reality!
"To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive." - Matthew Arnold
Created By
Sydney Koller


Created with images by cmart29 - "colour smoke rainbow" • karen2754 - "straws" • avantrend - "vase rose design" • Buddy_Nath - "universe galaxy nebula" • Pexels - "green pattern surface" • cocoparisienne - "dancer woman girl" • Willian_Ferreira_Soares - "Love" • Comfreak - "light bulb current light" • macayran - "sunset sea ​​of ​​clouds clouds" • ricky_artigas - "Flower" • kkolosov - "analysis biochemistry biologist" • markusspiske - "analog antique exposure"

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