About Alberta’s Creative Economy Supporting the creative economy is a global priority, as reflected in the United Nations’s (UN) declaration of 2021 as the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. The UN defines the creative economy as “the sum of all the parts of the creative industries, including trade, labour and production,” … Continue reading What’s the deal with Alberta’s Creative Economy Anyways?
Teaching creatively vs teaching creativity
As Jeffrey and Craft (2010) pointed out so well, there is a big difference between teaching creatively, and teaching creativity. They argue that teaching creatively is essentially akin to effective teaching: it involves using imaginative approaches to make learning more interesting and effective in the classroom setting. But this is different from teaching creativity, which … Continue reading Teaching creatively vs teaching creativity
Using the 4D Method for Creative Problem Solving
We know that the ability to be creative, to develop creative strategy or to think creatively is a key skill set for the 21st century. In fact, it might be the key skill students need to thrive in their future careers - industries from engineering to healthcare to agriculture have identified that the number one … Continue reading Using the 4D Method for Creative Problem Solving
Online Studio courses: Getting Creative With Creative Processes.
Learning about creative processes can be a challenge at the best of times and for students taking their final creative brand strategy course while working as a team, online, during a pandemic, for capstone requirements this might not be the best of times. Let’s face it, it might be the worst of times. One of … Continue reading Online Studio courses: Getting Creative With Creative Processes.
That’s a good question – Using design thinking to support the development of divergent thinking practices in first-year students.
I recently had the chance to work with a colleague at the University of Calgary on the design of an experiential, inquiry-based and student led approach to learning for a new program opening up - one that used the real and proven innovation practices that are fostered through the use of a design mindset. It … Continue reading That’s a good question – Using design thinking to support the development of divergent thinking practices in first-year students.
From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs in Learning.
We are all breaking down. As our mental health, our work, our research and our learning are changed in the crucible of this pandemic year, we’re all experiencing the breakdown of both our expectations and our realities [i]. And the process of learning that our students, are engaging in each day – well that is … Continue reading From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs in Learning.
Designing our Thinking: Findings from research into the effects of design thinking in the undergraduate classroom.
Using YouTube and BlackBoard to share micro lectures with a learning community.
I've been experimenting with different ways to share micro lectures with students this spring term. This has been prompted by learning that the vast majority of my first year students are using their cell phone data plans to download course content while socially isolating, and that over 80% of students feel challenged by having to … Continue reading Using YouTube and BlackBoard to share micro lectures with a learning community.
Nice to meet you: Discussion boards in online or hybrid learning models
In my experiments with what I call a BOLD (or Blended Online Learning Model) of instructional design, I’ve come to love the discussion board. I say this reluctantly, because I really hated the discussion board for a long, long time. The discussion board felt like the worst of the online world: full of opinions, dominated … Continue reading Nice to meet you: Discussion boards in online or hybrid learning models
On the benefits of the do-over.
I come from a studio background – one where the work isn’t finished until it has been discussed, critiqued, revised and refinished several times. This means that whenever I handed in an assignment in my undergrad classes I knew two things for sure. One; it wasn’t as good as it would be after the feedback … Continue reading On the benefits of the do-over.
Taking a look behind the screen: understanding the online learning community though an introductory survey.
Connecting with students in a virtual environment for online learning is an enormous challenge, and my own lack of understanding about what students are prepared to do, what they are facing at home as challenges of their own, and even what tech or tools they have access too certainly does not help. As post secondary … Continue reading Taking a look behind the screen: understanding the online learning community though an introductory survey.
Map making for virtual learning
I love a good map, I really do. A map is our ticket to an unknown future - our way of envisioning the possibilities and of imagining what is yet unseen. And a map is a leap of faith: it requires us to believe the mapmaker who says "trust me, there is some great stuff … Continue reading Map making for virtual learning
Reflecting on reflective practice
Seems like everything is a bit different these days, and supporting reflective practices within our classrooms is certainly no different. I know from my work with design thinking, and my practice in creating experiential and active learning classrooms that instituting a reflective practice within learning time is critical to the success of all learners. Without … Continue reading Reflecting on reflective practice
Doing Design Thinking: An Ethnography of the Digital Graphic Design Studio
I've finished my dissertation on the creative problem solving practices of designers (lovingly named Wanda so that I have someone to scream at when needed) and submitted it to the University of Calgary - I'm ALL DONE! Yay! I'm sharing it here with you...prepare yourselves accordingly for a longish visit to theory town. But once … Continue reading Doing Design Thinking: An Ethnography of the Digital Graphic Design Studio
Mapping the un-mappable in design thinking
I've been having a really interesting conversation with a student recently about the shape and function of design thinking practices inside and outside the studio space. How does each camp (business folk, organizational studies researchers, designers) understand who has ownership over what? In trying to suss this out, I went back to some mapping. Mapping … Continue reading Mapping the un-mappable in design thinking
Untangling Design Thinking from Designing, Thinking, and Designing our Thinking.
In an effort to wrangle the term design thinking into submission, I'm trying to untangle design thinking from all the words...design, designing, thinking, and designing our thinking. As a model for change in the world of post secondary education, design thinking serves an important purpose: it is both a tool that can enhance learning for … Continue reading Untangling Design Thinking from Designing, Thinking, and Designing our Thinking.
Design Thinking’s moment in the University classroom.
So it would seem that design thinking is having a moment. I know, I know. This is not news. After all, once something has hit the twittersphere with the force that design thinking seems to have (#designthinking), the moment may actually be almost over. But this is exciting for me, because it means that the … Continue reading Design Thinking’s moment in the University classroom.
Connecting Innovation and Creativity in teaching and learning: Design thinking goes to University.
One of the questions I ask designers in my field research is “how did you learn to solve problems”? I get all sorts of answers, but after more than a few jokes about the boot camp that is design school and the battle field of client work, most of the designers I interview talk about … Continue reading Connecting Innovation and Creativity in teaching and learning: Design thinking goes to University.
Connecting Creativity and Innovation – researching our #cdninnovation future
Innovation. We’re hearing this word a lot these days – in our federal budget, our businesses and especially in our research work. The use of design thinking as a method to generate innovation in spaces outside the design studio is something that I believe we should all celebrate. If, as the meme-verse tells us, creativity … Continue reading Connecting Creativity and Innovation – researching our #cdninnovation future
What does it mean to connect innovation and creativity through design thinking?
I'm so thrilled and honoured to be a part of the SSHRC Storytellers Top 25 Competition this year - I really believe that developing a better understanding of the ways that designers solve complex and critical problems will help us connect creativity and innovation in Canada's future, and I'm so excited to share the research … Continue reading What does it mean to connect innovation and creativity through design thinking?
A little light reading: Practice Theory edition
From the candidacy vault: a list of practice theory sources and inspirations, with a special focus on organizational dynamics, and the process of learning, changing and evolving practice forms. Barab, S., & Duffy. (2011). From practice fields to communities of practice. In D. Jonassen & S. Land. (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of learning environments. New York, … Continue reading A little light reading: Practice Theory edition
A little light reading: Ethnography edition
More from last year's candidacy, in case it is of help to others who suffer so: a brief listing of readings from the world of ethnography with a special focus on cultural production studies and organizational ethnographic studies. Alcoff, Linda (1992). The Problem of Speaking for Others. Cultural Critique, 20, 5-32. Atkinson, P., Coffey, A., … Continue reading A little light reading: Ethnography edition
A little light reading: Cultural Production Studies edition
For what it is worth: a brief listing of readings from the world of Cultural Production Studies with a special focus on the world of design. Banks, M., Gill, R., & Taylor, S. (Eds.). (2014). Theorizing cultural work: Labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries. Florence, KY: Taylor and Francis. Becker, H. … Continue reading A little light reading: Cultural Production Studies edition
Didn’t we solve this one? The function of practice routines in design thinking.
Didn’t we solve this one? The function of practice routines in design thinking. Abstract While design thinking has become a buzz word in industries far outside of the design space, it's application inside the studio remains relatively unstudied (Kimbell, 2011). Current models of ‘design thinking’ make visible the applied process informed by the creative decision … Continue reading Didn’t we solve this one? The function of practice routines in design thinking.
Tell Me Why You Did That: Learning “Ethnography” from the Design Studio – EPIC 2016
My recent presentation of research at the EPIC 2016 conference (Minneapolis) is available at https://www.epicpeople.org/learning-ethnography-design-studio/. A full PDF of my presented paper is available here: epic2016_3-1dorland https://vimeo.com/199881299
“It’s just watching. But it’s billable”: The Challenges and Possibilities of Design Ethnography in Practice
Recently I had the opportunity to contribute an article to Perspectives at EPICpeople.org. The full text can be found here: https://www.epicpeople.org/design-ethnography-practice/ What do you think? How do designers understand research, and how are they designing the future of ethnography?
What form should Canada’s national design policy take?
Designing Innovation: A Proposal For Future Policy Direction (Dorland, 2012) builds off of the initial discussions started in 2010 about the need for a Canadian National Design Policy. This working paper explores various forms of creative policies using case studies from Europe, the USA and England, and suggests that a hybrid of innovation, creative industries … Continue reading What form should Canada’s national design policy take?
How is the practice of participatory design embedded, adapted and shared in the studio?
Practice Theory in the Studio: The Dynamics of Change in Innovative Design Methodologies (Dorland, 2016) locates and maps the field of practice-based approaches, suggesting that the practice turn identified by Warde (2005) has moved into a third wave of empirical study. It then explores how three key scholars from the second wave of practice theory … Continue reading How is the practice of participatory design embedded, adapted and shared in the studio?
How can we understand design thinking as a conversion between tacit and explicit forms of knowledge?
Saying the Unsayable: Intersections of Tacit Knowing and Explicit Knowledge Within an Expanded Definition of Design Thinking (Dorland, 2016) explores the origins of the term "design thinking" and proposes that the term can be best understood as a method of knowledge conversion, rather than as either a tacit, or an explicit way of knowing. This … Continue reading How can we understand design thinking as a conversion between tacit and explicit forms of knowledge?
How can we use ethnography to study the work of cultural producers?
Design Ethnography and Ethnographies of Designers: An Embedded and Collaborative Approach to the Study of Cultural Producers (Dorland, 2016)