3D Prototyping Project
I enjoyed and benefited from this project for a few reasons. It taught me a lot about a few of the creative thinking tools we learned about in Sparks of Genius. One of the creative tools I learned a lot about was dimensional thinking. Dimensional thinking was important for this project because we had to think of our concept sketches in terms of three dimensions in order to create a viable prototype. Along with this creative thinking tool, I learned a lot about modeling as well. It is similar to dimensional thinking, except using modeling is specific to creating a 3D model as opposed to just thinking of how a 2D idea works in 3D. The creative thinking tools weren't the only things I learned about during this project, however. We also learned the steps of design thinking, like brainstorming and prototyping, and how important these steps are to innovation.
"Where I'm From" Poem
This poem was definitely one of my favorite things we did over the semester. The question of where I am from has always been one that puzzled me, so writing this poem enabled me to use a lot of creativity. It was interesting to hear other people's take on the assignment, and listening to how they described where they were from. Some people discussed physical characteristics of where they called home, while others wrote about particular feelings or senses that reminded them of their childhood home. This activity certainly invoked the use of another creative thinking tool, empathy.
For this activity, we were to go outside the classroom and write down observations on a single object from multiple perspectives. We were required to observe this object for 10 minutes or so, forcing us to observe whatever we chose even closer than a normal glance, looking for even the slightest details. This activity taught us about the observing creatively, as it is also one of the creative thinking tools we learned about this semester.
Creative Person Resume
I enjoyed this particular activity because it involved a little bit of research about a creative person I am quite fond of, Johann Sebestian Bach. Most of my creativity comes from music, so researching another individual who was known for his creativity in the same field appealed to me greatly. However, this was not a normal research assignment because rather than simply reporting our findings, we instead had to create a pretend resume for this creative person. This certainly took critical thinking skills, as taking information about another person and putting it into a format as if the person themselves were exhibiting their strengths and achievements is difficult. Although it was challenging, I ended up learning a lot about critical thinking and even resumes from this activity.
30 Day Creative Project
This project certainly had its challenging aspects, but paid off with the lessons in creativity it delivered as well. Some of the challenges I ran into along the way that could have inhibited creativity were time management and mental creative roadblocks, but overcoming these blocks in creativity also taught me a good lesson in problem solving and ethical decision-making. The lesson I learned in problem solving was overcoming the creative roadblocks in order to complete the requirements of the project while still maintaining creativity. The decision-making I had to do involved finding the best ways to complete the project with the time I had while still making sure the content of the project was to my best creative ability.
The first thing we ever did this semester was an activity in which we had to use a few sheets of paper any anything else in the room to make the tallest structure we could. This activity certainly required some critical thinking and creativity, and we were right away immersed into our creative mindsets that we would continue to mold and improve throughout the semester. Aside from those skills, I think we were using a bit of the creative thinking tool Play during this exercise as well. It was a lighthearted mood, and people were humorously including other objects into the structure that, while intended for humor, ended up improving the height of the structure.
Creative Journey Exercise
In this activity, we had to draw out what we considered to be our "creative journey". Because most of my creative output is through music and writing, I synthesized the two using music notes on a staff to show my creative journey. I believe this worked because music notes are used to write out music in a readable manner, and I felt this exhibited my creative journey perfectly. On the first line, the notes are simpler, which showed the beginning of my journey, and as the lines progress, the notes get more complex, as did my musical creativity. I learned a lot about the creative thinking tool imaging for this activity, as I had to put a mental idea into a drawing to display the idea in a comprehensible manner.
Video from "Inside Out".
I learned a lot about abstracting from this video. Abstracting is a difficult concept to grasp, and I believe this video grasps the concept quite well in a way that is easy to understand. The video shows the main characters entering an "abstraction room", where they are reduced to simpler forms and eventually two dimensions. The visual effects and descriptions of the steps of abstraction convey these ideas in a way that might help someone who is struggling to understand the concept.
In this exercise, we drew a picture of our favorite animal, and then had to keep redrawing the picture with fewer and fewer lines. This exercise taught us a lot about abstraction and how to keep the important features of an idea there while getting rid of the unnecessary details. This lesson ties deeply into creativity and innovation because when you come across an idea to innovate, you sometimes need to simplify it down to its bare-bones roots in order to improve the function.
IDEO Shopping Cart Video
This video was a video we watched in class about the IDEO team being asked to innovate a shopping cart for a special report on the company. This video showed the team going through the different phases of design thinking and utilizing the different creative thinking tools we learned throughout the semester, like modeling and dimensional thinking. A cool thing about this video was that we watched it once at the beginning of the semester and again at the end to show how our understanding of the design process and innovation as a whole had improved.