At the crux of Design Thinking lies creativity, the definitive cog that keeps the process going. Ms. Ahlada, facilitator at our school’s Design Thinking Challenge discusses the role of creativity at each workshop so far.
“What is creativity? Is it the use of imagination? Is it the ability to think outside the box? Is it to invent something new? Creativity is all this and much more. It is the ability to perceive the world we live in new ways and the will to say, ‘What box?’.
Creativity is not the wealth of a fortunate few. All of us have the inherent ability to think creatively. But, as we grow older, we draw the boxes we are comfortable in around ourselves and are content being in the middle. Anything outside the box becomes an impractical situation that we are not ready to face. Growing up in the eighties, not many of us would have envisioned a world where post offices became redundant by smartphones and internet. That seems like a wild idea now.
Design Thinking workshops are structured to help students be creative. During one of the workshops, students were encouraged to create 100 visual ideas that illustrated how their solutions would look like. The intention behind the exercise was to start conversations and interactions which moved away from the expected. As facilitators, it was important that we deferred judgement on the practicality of the solutions. This helped students take ownership of their ideas. We encouraged students to do further research on their ideas and to substantiate, validate and analyze their solutions.
“Students developed prototypes of wheelchairs and other modes of transport for the disabled. Although it had the same purpose of making transport easy, the variation and detailing of each definitely highlights the challenge’s ‘out of box’ theme”, Ms. Vithur Varenya attesting to the idea of exploring options outside the box.
Same idea, a different take from outside the box.
“We were allowed to expand our horizon of thinking and were encouraged to think of solutions even if they were completely out of the blue. From the start, it was made clear to us that no matter how seemingly ‘absurd’ ideas were, if worked upon, they can produce excellent results. So, the ideas that I had laughed upon yesterday, are the ones that I have now brought out for presentation. That is the level of creative freedom we have enjoyed in the process”, recalls Ms. Tarushi of Grade IX.
So the next time you hear someone talk about holograms that communicate using sign language or a neurotransmitter reader, come out of your box and ask, “How did you think of this?”