Due to configuration and printing restraints the diagrams, and the illustrations of the case study of this highly visual paper cannot be included. The author is sure this extended abstract will suffice to place the arguments in context and the full paper will be available on the first morning of the conference giving time to review the material in detail ready for the research discussion on the second day.
Breaking mindset and creating alternatives are about having to hand, strategies for fast tracking the creative process where time plays a crucial role (Tardif & Sternberg in Sternberg 1990 page 430) and, within the process of generating a design solution for a client there are many pressures (Oldarch 1995 page 3). The process of creativity then has major restraints imposed upon it and any strategy to alleviate these restraints must be a welcome addition to the creative vocabulary of the design student. On reflection this is of course relevant to everyone. We all are faced with problems of one type or another and any method that helps solve these problems, the better This paper maps these strategies and proposes a model for its practice.
As a consequence of this feedback a course was put together to address these issues within the authors specific discipline in the second year programme. This paper is the developed outcome of that initial feedback.
At this point before concentrating on the model it is appropriate to place it in comparison with this larger picture of creativity. The author chose to concentrate on a psychological perspective as the frame of reference.
Two views on creativity emerge from the literature.
In general, psychologists have viewed creativity as a process existing in a single person at a particular point in time. More particularly the second viewpoint discusses creativity as "existing in a larger system of social networks, problem domains, fields of enterprise, such that the individual who produces products that are judged to be creative is only one of many necessary parts". The view continues "This systems view of creative processes does not preclude the individual view". (Tardif and Sternberg 1988, page 430).
Commenting on Theories of Creativity, Robert S Albert and Mark A Runco (1990) remark that
... the observation of individual differences is the elemental defining factor in psychological understanding of human behaviour. And because creativity is behaviour, one must take into account the influence of individual differences whether from an analytic or ecological point of view. Not to do so negates one essential characteristics of creative behaviour: it is a variation on, if not always a clean break from, the prevailing consensus, pattern, style, or method.The whole notion of creativity has been analysed to conclude that creativity can be described as being influenced by
person, place, process, product and persuasion (Albert & Runco 1990, 261)The issues of person, place, process, product and persuasion are currently being examined as work in progress in the overall title 'Towards Best Practise - Generating a Creative Culture' (Pearson 1996-).
creativity is never the private, hidden experience it was once believed - especially by the Romantics or the analytically oriented - but as an intrinsically shared experience with no one identifiable moment of origin
For this research vignette the author has chosen to concentrate on 'process' as it is the most dynamic and readily accessible. By identifying these major characteristics of creative process, the next stage is to anchor these characteristics to a series of activities that demonstrate and enhance the process.
This paper takes the view that in a learning environment the facilitator should be inclusive about theoretical opinion.
With these characteristics identified, from a teaching and learning perspective it now requires that these characteristics are satisfied and developed within a framework that generates learning.
The characteristics of creative process identified by the literature search of Tardif and Sternberg have thus been translated to a unit outline.
The project learning model forms the central teaching and learning method within the School of Design and this model provides the framework for creative thinking and problem solving.
This model of learning revolves around creating real problems to be solved. A project within the School of Design lasts three weeks and it entails from the student a high level of commitment and discipline to complete.
Lecture - Where do Ideas come from?
A 13 week Semester Project
A 2nd semester of six weekly reinforcements
A 3rd Semester 3 week project
A 4th Semester 3 week project
This talk will set you on your way by revealing that ideation (the making of ideas) is improved by:
As we add detail to this broad brush we will discover that Creative Action is a delicate balancing act between prejudice, perception and judgement. Note our title is Creative Action -because there is a world of difference between being creative and acting on it. You can eat ideas for breakfast but in the end if you dont use them they are about as much use to you as eating the packet.
This journey that we shall take will lead us to new insights about creativity as a process. By virtue of a deliberate attempt to stretch ourselves beyond our self imposed limits we will experience creativity as an oscillating process of thinking and judging during the stages of problem solving
As this talk develops and as your project unfolds you will become aware that there are differing views on the process of problem solving.
What is important to remember is no matter the detail - ideation strategies are just one part of this process. (Pearson, Ideation Lecture, 1996). The lecture continues by detailing succinctly everything that the student will do in this respect over the next two semesters.
The lecture is immediately followed by a tutorial.
Tutorial - Teaching Notes First year First Semester Project one Concepts. page 1 of 4
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving - an introduction to some basic strategies.
Prerequisite - attendance at lecture
Duration - 2 hours - Plan to work in twenty minute sessions including break. this may be broken up in any combination you wish:
Context -The project
Materials Handouts - Butchers paper, markers and their personal notebooks
Content - as follows:
1 session 10 minutes - make clear what the major points of the lecture have been coveredAcknowledge this is fast tracking and that each lecturer will be revisiting these techniques in the coming weeks
3 sessions 20 minutes:
session 2 - Mind mapping : review of homework3 sessions 10 minutes:
session 3 - Force fit Mind mapping
session 4 - Break (Incubation period)
session 5 - Storm writingsession 20 minutes:
session 6 - Storming
session 7 - Analogy and metaphor through Bisociation
session 8 - Review, questions and feedback of tutorial.
Feel free to panic and cut the introduction and feedback session !!
An Exploration of the creative process through interactive play
How to overcome mental blocks in the creative process
An Exploration of idea generation individually and as a group through
Bisociation and Force-fitting
Practise force fitting through class exercise (illustrate life in Perth)
Mind Map - (Who am I?) Bring 2 photographs with accompanying description.
Deadline for project
Random Association with photographs and captions
Discussion and reflection on Brainstorming and Brainwriting
through the application of the mind map
Extending of mindmap to create new project
Introduction of analogy and Visual puns
Think about creating a group identity
Overseas students and recently arrived residents (2years)
You are to design 12 pages A4 that utilises type, photographic image, illustration, typography and symbolic imagery in an integrated fashion to express in a graphical manner your opinions, thoughts, impressions about the spirit of the region you are now involved in. You will then send these pages to your relatives or friends overseas so that they too can feel as near as is possible what you feel about the region from a cultural point of view as one who has previously lived outside the cultures we have in West Australia. The method you present these A4 sheets must include the packaging for sending them overseas.
Residents and Citizens who have spent considerable time in West Australia (over 2 years)
You are now to leave this place for ever and you want to take with you 12 pages of A4 that utilises type, photographic image, illustration, typography and symbolic imagery in an integrated fashion to express in a graphical manner your memories opinions, feelings thoughts, impressions about the spirit of the region you have lived in. The method you present these A4 sheets must include the packaging for keeping them safe as you travel the world.
Problem solving - analysis, translation. checklisting, solution searching, evaluation and production planning,
You are an executive of a corporate body with the lecturer as MDir. You are to promote your own interests by winning approval of your colleagues through reasoned argument that they should back your proposal. This proposal should be an area of interest that has a rich visual backdrop. You are to come to an agreement with your board on the amount of work you are to do so that it is fair and equitable with your peers. This work should revolve around a promotional campaign to increase your interests profile.
The school has recently run pilot programmes using peer group assessment based on the consensual assessment derived by B. A. Hennessey and Theresa Amabile (p14 to17 in Sternberg 1988.) They have proved to be powerful instruments because the students have marked each other with honest, yet passionate insight.
Conditions do apply. There are three requirements for the task to be assessed. There must be a tangible product or response. The task must be open ended enough to allow for creative interpretation and 'novelty'. Third, the level of skill must have "no large individual differences in baseline performance" (within the school it would be inappropriate to compare third year work with first year work).
The assessment procedure also has requirements. First the judges must all have experience within the domain, although their levels need not be similar. The second requirement is that the judges make their assessment independently, have no contact with each other and have no criteria. Thirdly they must be aware of any factors that might inhibit creativity or technical performance. Fourthly they should judge the artefacts relative to each other and finally each judge should view the artefacts in a different order.
If appropriate judges independently agree that a given product is highly creative then it can and must be accepted as such (Hennessey and Amabile, page 17 in Sternberg 1988).
Green-Armytage, P. and Shaw, J. (1995). Assessment revisited.
Oldarch, M. (1995). Creativity for Graphic Designers. North Light Cincinnati Ohio.
Pearson, M. R. (1993). Internal Audit questionnaire.
Sternberg, R. J. (ed) (1988). The Nature of Creativity: Contemporary Psychological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
|Please cite as: Pearson, M. (1997). Ideation: A synthesis model for breaking mindset and generating alternatives. In Pospisil, R. and Willcoxson, L. (Eds), Learning Through Teaching, p252-258. Proceedings of the 6th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, Murdoch University, February 1997. Perth: Murdoch University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf1997/pearson1.html|