DS 93: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2018), Dyson School of Engineering, Imperial College, London. 6th - 7th September 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Olander, Elin
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Lund University, Sweden
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design and Engineering Education
Page(s): 248-253
ISBN: 978-1-912254-02-6


Creativity is a wildly debated topic among scholars and practitioners, but one that lacks consensus. Many have tried to define, describe and explain creativity, its purpose, effect and use. Is creativity a personality trait you are born with, or can you learn to become creative? As a design teacher with a teaching practice focused on the skills of creativity, this is a relevant question, because if creativity cannot be learned, then it cannot be taught. The results of observations during a design methodology course for undergraduate design engineering students suggest that there are important common conditions in a learning situation that aims to enhance creativity through practice. In this case, it aims to implement a design thinking mind-set in a product development process. From a teacher perspective, this paper discusses the need to break students’ goal-oriented mind-set, learned from the first day of primary school, to enable them to adopt a creative mind-set. In this context, students with a goal-oriented mind-set will immediately start working on finalising the first idea/solution that comes to mind without considering alternatives. Breaking this mind-set can be done by letting the students’ practical experiences intertwine with self-reflection under teacher guidance. The focus is to identify each students’ motivation to change mind-set by teaching the underlying reasons why creating ideas is hard work, not something that happens by chance. Hence, the teacher’s focus is on generating student awareness those mind-set rules over method so they can embrace a different/new road to finding design solutions.

Keywords: Creativity, problem solving strategies, design pedagogy, change of mind-set/attitude, brainstorming, Synectics


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