It’s an obvious truism but something often neglected, but design is everything. It’s literally in every man-made thing we make, use, or celebrate. According to today’s guest, the act of design and creativity can benefit everyone, whether they see themselves as creative or not. Design is a process of free ideation, the overcoming of challenges and the presentation of clever solutions.
Sarah Stein Greenberg is Executive Director of the d.school at Stanford (aka the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design), which brings in designers and creatives to explore what design brings to global industries. She’s also the author of the intriguing new book Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create and Lead in Unconventional Ways.
Sarah cites her early discovery of the freedom of Lego construction, together with her father’s carpentry practise, as twin inspirations for her own creativity. We talked about design as a language and creativity extending beyond the narrow realms of “art”.
She gives the example of students tasked with improving patient throughput at a busy hospital. Their novel improvement, based upon observation, was to design a program of health education for the families nervously waiting for their relatives’ discharge. This oblique intervention significantly reduced the rate of patient readmission. Design can be an adventure and a revelation
Among the highlights:
- How navigating uncertainty requires an open attitude to creativity.
- The importance of “meta-learning” (learning HOW to learn).
- The value of recognizing one’s own bias and assumptions.
- Strategies for exploring serendipitous discovery and ideas mapping.
- The difference between diverging and converging, and how they are both necessary parts of the creative process.
- How to respond proportionately to constructive criticism.
- Struggle as a sign that productive learning is occurring.
- How to overcome creative blockages.
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