Top 10 Portfolio Michael Schlein

Object Observation Activity: In this activity, we were given random objects and asked to observe them closely, noting every physical detail we noticed. We were then asked to think of various problems of any kind, and how our object could be used to solve those problems. We used several creative thinking tools during this activity, notably observation, trying to understand the object as completely as possible. We also used analogy, trying to relate physical aspects of the object to situations and problems that would not normally be associated with that object. We also used applied knowledge, in that we applied the general aspects and concepts of the object to solve more complex issues.

Children's Learning Tool: This project took me and a group of my peers through the process of identifying a problem, thinking of a product to address that problem, and then physically designing and creating that product. This was a great introduction to the entrepreneurial process, and helped develop my ability to be creative and innovative in groups. This project had us utilize several different creative thinking tools. We used dimensional thinking, modeling, and others. We were also challenged in being forced to take risks, solve problems as they arose in the development process, and our ability to effectively communicate ideas to group members.

Our final prototype, "Illu"

IA Speaker Series- Liz Lerman: In the first IA Speaker Series event, we were given a presentation by choreographer Liz Lerman, in which we were asked to participate. The tasks we were asked to perform all had us collaborating with other people, either moving in sync with people, or taking leader/follower roles. This was a nice way to demonstrate not only concepts such as body thinking and movement, but also was another way of demonstrating collaboration and being creative with different people.

Liz Lerman

Abstracting Activity: One of the most notable in-class lessons for me was the day we were learning about abstracting, and how to use and apply it. We looked at several examples of abstracting, from the works of Pablo Picasso to the Pixar movie "Inside Out". We were then asked to use this creative tool ourselves, by thinking of an animal, and then being asked to draw that animal using progressively less and less lines.

My attempts to abstract an elephant

30 Day Challenge: The 30 day challenge was designed to challenge us to develop creative new perspectives on the objects around us, and find ways to create something new with them. In the first 10 days, we simply performed a different simple task each day. In the next sets of 10 days, however, we were challenged to repeat one single activity for 10 days in a row. My personal favorite activity was photographing the same object from 3 different angles, making the object look significantly different in each picture. This activity had me observe objects of all sizes around me for potential angles I could use, utilizing the dimensional thinking and observation creative thinking tools.

Example of 3 different angles on an orchid plant

IDEO Shopping Cart Video: This video was designed to walk us through the process of innovating a new product, and show us how teams of people with different backgrounds and levels of experience can work together to create something new. They were assigned the task of designing a new shopping cart, and we watch them go through every step of the design process. We watch them go communicate with the people using these carts, and then brainstorm solutions to the problems they discover. They put forward all their feasible ideas to be improved upon, and the best ones are collected into a final product that fully addresses the problem they were looking to solve

The final product the IDEO team came up with

The Straw Tower: In this in-class activity, we were put into groups and put into competition with the other groups to see who could build the tallest standing structure out of straws. This was another example of a team activity where elements of the design process were used, developing a structure through the ideas of multiple group members. However, this activity differed from others in that we were challenged to use empathy towards certain group members, as some were assigned impediments, such as not being able to talk, or see, or stand up. To get the fullest level of success, a group would use empathy to allow these members to participate in the process and help develop the best tower possible

Recognizing and Forming Patterns Activities: A couple of the key creative learning tools we learned about were recognizing and forming patterns. This is an important part of observing working designs, and what makes them work. This can also be applied when designing new products, using patterns to create something new, either aesthetically or pragmatically. We went into the process of creating patterns by creating tessellations, or a series of like shapes repeated in tandem over a design.

An example of my tessallation

Dance vs Powerpoint: A Modest Proposal: This video was meant to challenge our methods of communicating ideas, and present perhaps a more compelling, interesting method of presenting ideas than the traditionally used PowerPoint presentations. This video delves into the essential skill of communication, and broadened my view on the topic. In this case, the medium of dance is presented as an alternative to PowerPoints, but in a broader sense the video caused me to use critical thinking in how I present my concepts and ideas, figuring out creative ways to advance those ideas

A still from the video

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action: In this TED Talk, we watched Simon Sinek demonstrate what makes great leaders as inspiring and successful as they are. He drives home the point that "people don't but what you do, they buy WHY you do it", using several examples to show this idea working in real life. He shows critical aspects of the essential skill of leadership, and how to inspire the people who work for you, and the people you're selling your ideas to. He also shows how to use written and oral communication to communicate your ideas to people in a way where they will be excited to buy into them. This video changed how I look at the marketing of ideas, and how I will engage in that marketing in the future

Simon Sinek, demonstrating that "why" is at the core of every idea


Created with images by Skitterphoto - "yashica filter camera" • Jabbacake - "camera film camera analog" • zombieite - "Soap car" • koroed85 - "ballet evening sunset" • ellevalentine - "Musee Picasso" • sbl0323 - "photography camera lens lens" • Alexas_Fotos - "shopping cart shopping purchasing" • mike.horrocks - "Protruding Straws" • mike18656156590 - "new zealand pattern stripes" • Pexels - "ballerina ballet dancers" • segagman - "Steve Jobs 1955-2011"

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