STEPS TO CREATIVITY - COURSE EDITION 2016 (SC-2016)
Welcome to Steps to Creativity. Here below you will find some of the material we have worked during our classes. This course runs from February 2016 to May 2016.
We started our course on creativity by getting to know each other, describing and defining who we are and why we are taking this course on creativity development. Why are these questions important? we will see how our expectations about creativity and our understanding of who we are deeply affect our creative development
We moved some tables and chairs and started getting to know each other, this class is a group effort and it depends on everyone participating in it, thus knowing each other from the start is needed.
Then, we conducted our first experiment on training our attention, we followed some simple rules to structure our effort. First, we had to take pen and paper with us, secondly we had to decide beforehand what would be the focus of our attention, third we went ahead and devoted 25 minutes to discover how our cognitive abilities work. Finally we were asked about thinking on strategies to pursue an increase in attention.
This session was devoted to two objectives, (1) first to establish the basis of our cognitive work and (2) secondly to explore all the myths about creativity.
(1) Our cognitive work starts by understanding how our capacities currently work, and the possibilities we have to changing our current automatic ways of functioning. We worked on our mental models by studying and discussing a text by Fredy Kofman. Click here to read the challenges we investigated in class.
(2) These myths need to be attacked in two ways: First by unsettling the lay conceptions of creativity towards a scientific understanding, and to do this we embarked on a group discussion and group work investigating what is creativity, and second by changing (if needed) the conceptions we have about ourselves and our capacities. In order to discuss about our undisturbed convictions about ourselves we used two tests, the self-efficacy test and the conceptions of the self test.
We developed a new exercise to challenge our attention abilities. In this case we used our body to run this experiment. Finally we concluded the session by conducting a self-efficacy test and notions of the self test on intelligence and creativity.
Session 3 and 4
The aim of these two sessions was to start experiencing IDS as the instrument that will allow us to enhance our cognitive abilities. For this purpose we experimented our abilities in a different context: St. Gallen's forest. In the afternoon we discussed the three key ideas and three key citations of Corbi's text. We conducted this exercise while conducting an attention experiment on the group process. Finally we connected Castaneda's reading to our course's aims and the experiential exercises we carried out during the day.
Session 5 and 6
We continued exploring how creativity theory connects to our everyday life, and for this purpose we experienced the selection experiment exploring our own personal framings. We also worked on creativity group processes and mechanisms and we discussed and practised the IDEO design thinking method. Later we did a personal experiment on our attention abilities, this time working with music. Finally we worked on Castaneda's text on how we take ourselves too seriously.
Session 7 and 8
After experiencing specific part of creativity development, that linked to cognitive abilities, we went into a meta process of understanding how creativity is being studied. Doing this type of work allowed us to have autonomy in our abilities to continue developing creativity by ourselves after the course is finished. We put into practice the first part of Liedtka's model on creative process ("Design for growth", 2011) and embedded in her process approach we use a set of three techniques from Clegg (2007), specifically addressing what is the question by doing 1) a how to...? why compass 2) obstacle map, and 3) mind map. Then, we continued with VanGundy (2005) using his technique of brain writing to work on: what is the answer?. Finally we worked on Castaneda's text and the implications of having 'death as an adviser'.
Session 9 and 10
These two sessions were devoted to inquire about our desires, our interest, because we need to know and understand what 'runs us'. We discussed vehemently Lanfranchi's text, more specifically "We only do what we want to do and, if we are still not convinced of this, it is because we don’t know what the true roots of our actions are" and we followed one of her experiments. In these two sessions we also focused on our body as a tool to train our attention, by focusing on its diverse parts and also while walking at different paces. We worked on Castaneda's text and what does it mean to assume responsibility for our actions and the concept of 'being inaccessible' linked to our work on IDS and the development of our cognitive abilities. This class was also an opportunity to explore which subjects would be interesting to further explore and investigate if we were to have an additional course on creative development.
Session 11 and 12
These last two sessions aimed at allowing students to take off by themselves on their own hand their ability to become creative. We did the creative self-efficacy test and theories of the self test and compare it to our initial findings. We also discussed two videos, "this is water" and "the tree" as a way to further reflect on our own learning during the course and the importance of IDS as a cognitive process of creation. These videos are also a helpful reminder of the personal difficulties in being creative. We worked on Castaneda's text on how to become accessible to power and how to develop the mood of the warrior. Finally, we did an attention experiment using as a source of inquiry our taste buds, in this case with chocolate, cookies, sweets and fruits, also as a nice way to say 'see you soon' to everyone, and my hope that participants are leaving the course with more questions than answers, and as Ela Bhatt rightly put it " Our lives are determined by the questions we ask ourselves" and my hope that participants explore and become hunters of the invisible.
I am always greatly surprised by the excellent work projects students do, although a mere display of their work on the web might not be enough to show the potency of their learnings I think they deserve more than just being forgotten as the hard work of a course in St. Gallen University in 2016. This is the reason why I show them here. Thank you to all the participants of this course, it was an extraordinary opportunity to engage collectively with all of you!. Thank you.
*Group name: Los Juanitos
This film is especially meant for HSG-students. The idea behind it is to try to push them to see their surroundings a little bit more and take a step back from their habits.(...) Within our video we wanted to use parts of the concepts we discussed in class, for example Mental Models, IDS or even out of the Castaneda book.Click here to download full explanation text
*Group name: 5 Shades of creativity
At the beginning of our project’s development, we wanted to create a product that could develop someone’s creative potential.To do so, we based our idea on the concept of mental models and their potentially negative influence on someone's creative abilities. Indeed, creativity is commonly achieved by thinking out of the so-called box, which is engineered by our different mental models resulting from elements such as culture, relationships, or even family. Consequently, the means through which we intended to foster someone’s creativity is by shifting, or disrupting, these mental models. Following this, we thought of gently disrupting the person during a somewhat lengthy amount of time to let them think about an issue, problem, or simply an idea, and reflect upon it in a creative manner.
To proceed, we decided to stimulate four of the person’s senses in order to put the person through a highly stimulating process, in order to try and “extract”him/her from her usual comfort zone. We achieved this by setting the person in front of several screens, all showing different videos, which all belonged to a common theme..... Click here to download full explanatory text.
To get access to the instructions manual to build your own creative bubble please click here
*Group name: Hunters
The first step to enhance one's creativity is by acknowledging the boundaries that our mental models pose to our creative competencies. Everyone has the ability to be creative; some choose to develop it further while the majority block themselves by clinging to their mental models and believing that creative powers cannot be established. With our product we aim to demonstrate to HSG students how their mental models narrow their horizons and their creative powers. Click here to download full text.
*Group name: RAJA
RAJA group was formed by four fabulous members: from France (Jeanjean), Liechtenstein (Wolf), Switzerland (Friends'n'Food) and Serbia (Travel)
The aim of this digital product is to teach parents how to foster creativity within their children. This is done by creating an inspirational video that is meant to raise awareness of mental models, and how these can be manipulated to foster creativity. In order to do this, the video indirectly consists for four consecutive elements. At the beginning of the video the importance of creativity in children is emphasized. Thereafter, mental models and their filters are explained using various examples. Based on these premises, the video then explains what the mental model does to our mindset and how we need to break away from these in order to foster creativity. Lastly the video provides tips on how a parent together with their child can, through simple exercises or changes in the everyday life, foster creativity. An emphasis is primarily put on what parents can do to make thei children think and act in a creative manner. As the video is designed to be somewhat inspirational and to raise awareness, simple language and animations were used to aid the understanding
*Group name: Silence Hospital Group
Go Creative (http://bit.do/gocreative) is a social media campaign designed for students and social media users, designed to challenge their conception of creativity and to rethink their mental model. We have enclosed our fact sheet in this email for more precision about our goals.
Go Creative functions principally as an Instagram campaign with the #GoCreative tag. By using this medium, we are able to reach our friends and classmates. Check their product here.