Facilitating Creative Thinking: A Case Study Aimed at Understanding the Value of Teaching Facilitating Creative Thinking Within Design Management Masters Programmes

Collins, H. Facilitating Creative Thinking: A Case Study Aimed at Understanding the Value of Teaching Facilitating Creative Thinking Within Design Management Masters Programmes. In: ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 5052–5058.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.2152

Abstract

Within design management successful design managers need to be able to create the conditions for creative thinking and innovation within an organisation composed of a wide variety of professionals, most of whom may not be familiar with design thinking. This paper is a case study, which analyses a team student project focusing on facilitating creative thinking, and the student teams’ application of the learning from this project upon graduation.

The student project aims to prepare students to lead teams in the envisioning of new ideas and solutions by developing skills in framing, imaging and group iteration as they apply the process of design conceptualisation outside the familiar domain of studio skills. The students acquire experience in idea facilitation through working successfully with non- design people in a creative mode.

In the 1990’s there was a shift to believe that creativity was an ‘emerging phenomenon that considers social context’, (Henry (2013). It can be broken down into several categories to define where ones creative skills can emerge- ability, style, skill, experience, motivation and organisational structure (Henry 2013). Creativity has evolved form a ‘divine gift’ to be something everyone has the capability to do if they just work hard and surround themselves with creative people who help push their boundaries (Janaki, 2015).

Using content from their taught course the students framed their project aims around the following questions:

- Can creativity be taught?
- What are the implications of culture on creativity?
- What is the role of intuition and intuitive thinking?
- Can you form creativity through leadership and team work?

The students went on to choose an organisation to act as a client in their creative facilitation project. The client is a gay entertainment venue in the United states which hosts concerts , drag shows, fund raisers and had been part of the LGBTQ community in that district for more than thirty years providing a place where that community congregates and bonds.

The project involved designing a creative workshop and then facilitating this with the client. The project plan involved key members of the organisation and the student team and they designed a workshop using an ice breaker, issue exploration techniques of bug listing and wish listing; idea development techniques including Emoji persona, design pyramid, Five w’s and H and then went on to the solution implementation stage using component detailing and hurdles and timeline.

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