(Prototype: someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar.) In the beginning of the semester we were tasked with making a prototype for a new toy, needless to say the process had its challenges but in the end we learned more than we thought we ever would.
5 of the Creative Thinking Tools and how they can be applied.
1. Empathy: When someone is trying to come up with an innovative product or process they must be able to understand how people around them will adapt to their new product. Being able to "walk in someone else's shoes" is essentially what empathy is all about.
2. Observing: This is a very important tool for innovation, in order to realize that something needs help it needs to be observed first and then acted upon.
3. Abstracting: Abstracting is major when it comes to innovating, something may seem to work perfectly but when you break it down to the most simple form, you can see that maybe there is an easier way.
4. Dimensional Thinking: This type of thought helps turn 2D ideas into 3D ones, which is a key step in forming a working prototype.
5. Playing: One of the most important creative steps, being able to play with your prototype or idea and making sure it is an effective and fun thing.
Empathizing Journal: This was one of the more interesting things for me and it was assigned at a perfect time, when I was at Ultra. I was able to look at so many different types of people in tons of different situations, it really made me realize how each person has different emotions and reactions to what is happening in and around them.
30 Day Creativity Project: I loved this project because it challenged my to be creative everyday doing something I love. The image above is from a day that I just wasn't that inspired but decided to call up a friend and go to the pool with my camera. I ended up walking away with this photo.
Building things in class: Something I really enjoyed doing was being challenged to build an object as tall as we can with only the materials in front of us. I feel like this involved mainly dimensional thinking, we had to turn flat objects into something that towered above the desk. We did it twice; once on the first day of class and once towards the end with straws. (Image is not mine)
IDEO Shopping Cart: The 60 Minutes segment on IDEO and the shopping cart design was really interesting. They were challenged with redesigning the shopping cart in 5 days. Throughout the video each of the 12 creative thinking tools we went over in class was used as well as tons of inspirational quotes.
IA Speaker Series: We attended two events where the Innovation Academy brought in very talented individuals. The first was with a world renowned choreographer, he lesson helped me learn about body thinking and how being active in ways like dance can help spark a creative idea or process. The second event was with the head of Gainesville's local incubator. I really enjoyed this one because he went over several very simple ideas that turned into multi million dollar companies, after the event was over I started thinking about what ideas I may have that could change everyday life.
The Child's Learning Toy, this project was a challenge for me as an innovator. I have never really looked at things and thought "how can I make this better or make something new out of it." My group and I created a completely new toy that doesn't exist in todays market at all. I used my creativity to be the designer, coming up with the models for our toy. I had to be innovative making sure that it would be an easy user friendly item for little kids. At the end of the project I had a new faith in my innovative and design thinking abilities.
The Four P's of Creativity
1. Person: Throughout this class I realized my potential as a creative person, especially after the 30 day project. I found myself being excited to create new images and now I know that I have inner creative ability and not just spontaneous inspiration.
2. Place: The place where creativity takes place is very important. When I am locked in a boring room I find myself thinking of ways that the area could be more fun. But, when I am in an area surrounded by creative people I find myself coming up with all sorts of ideas that come from my surroundings.
3. Process: I never really thought of creativity having a process before this class, however after this class I couldn't think of it any other way. I always thought creativity was just a spark, but now I know how to look deeper into that. Creativity comes from noticing your surroundings, what people desire, problems and so much more. Each step is like a chain reaction that happens all the time over the course of time.
4. Product: A creative idea is nothing without a product. I learned that you may have amazing ideas but if you don't execute, then what is the point. It may just turn out to be a talking point as supposed to something everyone can enjoy.