Today we continued with concept development, with participants taking part in two exercises designed to encourage new creative approaches.
Martyn Thayne (L.S.M) kicked things off by screening this brilliant talk from Sir Ken Robinson, which suggested that creativity is being severely curtailed by an outdated education system. This is particularly relevant in regards to the University’s ‘Student as Producer’ initiative. In fact, co_LAB was specifically designed to experiment with new educational frameworks which might respond to this deficit within the Arts. Students are currently trained to prioritise an objective and rational outlook on a problem, which can be detrimental for creativity and group discussion. This can often lead to conflict and a decrease of efficiency within group work. With this in mind, Martyn introduced Ed De Bono’s notion of ‘parallel thinking’, asking the students to adopt the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ method to improve efficiency within their group discussions by thinking around their concepts in alternative ways. Students were also given the opportunity to evaluate this framework, with the majority of participants noting that it was a useful and novel method for organising and developing their ideas.
We were then joined by Louise Lawler (L.S.M), who gave an inspiring talk about creative uses of ‘maps’. Louise noted that maps usually detach us from our surroundings, they provide set paths that limits exploration and engagement with our surroundings. Thinking creatively about how to use maps can help to reverse this, allowing interventions and interactivity with the environment. Louise presented a number examples of how contemporary artists have incorporated maps into their work, highlighting that combining maps and global mapping data can encourage users to interact, explore and think about social and geographic space in new ways. The groups were then set the task of thinking about how maps might be incorporated into their own projects. This resulted in some really lively discussion, with teams presenting their ideas to the rest of the groups.
After a mammoth Dominoes marathon for lunch, students continued to develop their group concepts, with lecturers dropping in on discussions to provide advice, give feedback and offer suggestions where projects might be developed in alternative directions. Again, the teams presented their ideas, which enabled students to also offer feedback on each others projects.