August 25, 2007

Is Creativity a Team Sport?

"Ok. Take out some paper. You have 30 seconds to write down 15 ways in which a cat is like a refrigerator.”

Now that's exactly what design guru Dziersk told his class at Northwestern University’s Engineering Design Center one morning.

Panic flashed across the faces of his students. But that didn't make Dziersk change his mind. Instead he threatned:

“I’m coming around, and if you don’t get 15, I just might flunk you.”

He let the threat hang in the air long enough for 'blank paper paralysis' to set in. Then he laughed.

“Okay - sort yourselves into teams of three, and we’ll try this again.”

This time, the ideas effortlessly started to fly, “They both hate water.” “They can be either black or white.” “They purr.” “They smell.” “They’re hard to get rid of.”

That day the class learnt the value of approaching creativity as a team sport.


1 comment:

Ellie said...

Design by a team where everyone knows the game is awesome. Design by a committee of amateurs is not so fun.