Creative Intelligence

Bruce Nussbaum’s lecture on Design at The Edge is one of my favorite.
I’m not enrolled in it, but still feel obligated to sit in every Monday. Last week, Bruce mentioned to me that he is writing a book on what he calls CQ, or Creative Intelligence.

At Columbia Business School’s China Business Conference, I introduced myself as someone in Service Design. A professor from Columbia respond with “Oh look at my tie.”

I may have felt somewhat like IDEO’s David Kelly when at a restaurant he introduced himself as a designer and his hostess asked “So what do you think of my curtains?” (1)

The Columbia professor did zone in on what I mean by design when he said “I’m sure there were many processes involved in creating the tie from Chinese silk, French pattern to be made in America.”

This shows the gap between D-School to B-School that I traverse and that Bruce is helping bridge.

Bruce notes that the framework of Design Thinking, that “collection of behaviors is the heart and sole of creativity. It includes being attuned to the people and culture you are immersed in and having the experience, wisdom, and knowledge to frame the real problem and–most important of all perhaps–the ability to create and enact solutions” (2)
But he poses the question in his new blog post on Fast Co Design about what creativity is and how can we measure it.

If CEO’s have used Design Thinking as a process trick, how can we help develop the ability to convey creativity without making it a process trick? Why would we put creativity on a linear scale alongside IQ and SAT scores?

I agree that Design Thinking has opened the doors for creativity to wider application, but since it was “packaged as a process” it has begun to “actually do harm.”(2) If we take creativity and boil it down to not just a package, but something on a linear scale, how do we keep it’s veracity?

IQ stands for Intellingece Quotient and therefore CQ, Creative Quotient. As quotients are the result of division, why abstract Creativity into dividable dimension? It would be a very efficient way to rate and process individuals. But since “creativity emerges from group activity,” how do we effectively measure the capability of an individual’s ability to interact in a group and frame problems?

CQ will need to contain multiple dimensions.

How do we frame the and show an individual’s “experience, wisdom,” and ability to frame?

One thing for sure is that the model of a psychologist asking pre-defined questions and timing a subject’s arrangement of colored blocks won’t serve as the way for measuring creativity.

Howard Gardner said that when in China, students tell him “Now we have 8 things to be good at,” referring to his theory of Multiple Intelligence. (3)

Bruce’s dream is that when his godchild applies to”Stanford, Cambridge, and Tsinghua universities. The admissions offices in each of these top schools asks for proof of literacies in math, literature, and creativity. They check her SAT scores, her essays, her IQ, and her CQ.” I envision the admissions office will spend more time viewing the CQ than the other deliverables. Not just because it is the most engaging, but that because it is the most complex measurement and deepest deliverable. It might be like a portfolio with statistics, visuals and maps. Everyone’s CQ will be as unique, if not more than an admissions essay.

I’m in the process of developing a deliverable to show my Creative Intelligence after a course with Carlos Teixeira and Robert Rabinovitz.

I appreciate if we could measure degrees of creativity and am excited to see how the concept of CQ forms.





Bruce at his Design At The Edge lecture series.

2. Bruce Nussbaum – “Beyond Design Thinking” Fast Company

1. IDEO’s David Kelley on “Design Thinking” Fast Company

3. Howard Gardner. Presentation, 2010.

NYU in Shanghai

NYU currently has a presence at East China Normal University (华东师范大学). They’re opening a full campus in Pudong, the new district. Maybe they understand they can’t just feed Wall Street, so Pudong is a logical decision. But it’s a good decision for more than just being situated in the new financial district of a new financial power.

“In the 2011-12 academic year, NYU plans to begin an executive education program, which will not grant degrees. A degree-granting, professional Masters program would begin in the 2012-13 academic year, and in the fall of 2013, NYU hopes to welcome its first undergraduate class to NYU Shanghai. ”

East China Normal Uni is located at what was the campus of St. John’s University right by Suzhou Creek. St. John’s University was dissolved after the revolution with parts of it absorbed into Shanghainese Second Medical College and Fudan University.

Even though St. John’s University was registered in Washington DC, a BA from St. John’s University and a CPA from Hong Kong (which is qualified through the UK) would not even let you sit for the CPA in the United States. NYU is really (has really been) leading the curve. They accepted programs from St. John’s back in 1956, organized semesters abroad with ECNU and now are opening their own campus.

I am still trying to have Parsons give me credit for my semester at Fudan.

Original source:

http://nyunews.com/blogs/on-assignment/2011/01/22/22shanghai/

Education in China

; approach pushes students to top of tests

“Many educators say China’s strength in education is also a weakness. The nation’s education system is too test-oriented, schools here stifle creativity and parental pressures often deprive children of the joys of childhood, they say.”

“These are two sides of the same coin: Chinese schools are very good at preparing their students for standardized tests.” “For that reason, they fail to prepare them for higher education and the knowledge economy.”

“In an interview, Mr. Jiang said Chinese schools emphasized testing too much, and produced students who lacked curiosity and the ability to think critically or independently.

“It creates very narrow-minded students,” he said. “But what China needs now is entrepreneurs and innovators.”

This is a common complaint in China. Educators say an emphasis on standardized tests is partly to blame for the shortage of innovative start-ups in China. And executives at global companies operating here say they have difficulty finding middle managers who can think creatively and solve problems.”

Related:
“Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704111504576059713528698754.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Source:
“Shanghai Schools’ Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests”
David Barboza, New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/world/asia/30shanghai.html?scp=1&sq=shanghai%20schools;%20approach%20pushes%20students%20to%20top%20of%20tests&st=cse

AIGA Design Educators Conference – Remapping the Curriculum

Part I: Remapping the Curriculum
One of Six Views of the AIGA Design Educators Conference
Quotes by Jon Kolko

Shelley spoke on “Described the changing qualities of culture and society and the new demands placed on design educators in driving specialization toward fields like service and interaction design.”

Christopher Vice – spoke on how “We must actively and aggressively reframe design education in order to best meet the challenges facing our world and culture.”

“For most of the field’s history, educational programs in graphic design have taught students how to create artifacts. That involves a number of core competencies, including but certainly not limited to color theory, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, typography, composition, printing and prepress, packaging, digital prepress, logo and mark creation.
But the world has changed, and professionals rarely focus exclusively on printed material. In the last 20 years, the overall landscape of design has shifted:
— From single artifact-systems to design language systems, focusing on a unified visual and semantic message across multiple printed pieces
— From one-way communicative artifacts, such as brochures, to interactive artifacts, such as software
— From designed artifacts to “design-thinking,” where the focus of the design process is applied in the context of large-scale business, organizational or cultural problems
— From commercial goods toward service, emphasizing time-based, human and more experiential qualities of designed offerings

Suggestions:
1. Recast the Foundation

(good, because I only took one foundation class.)

2. Specialize and Differentiate
I think we should also integrate the skills that are specialized and different.
You need verticals ex: human factors engineering, typography.
“— Focus on service design or interaction design. ”
“— Focus on partcipatory design”
“— Focus on traditional design specialites”

We’re not designing artefacts – maybe we’re not even designing ways of thinking (as that may simply be impossible).
We are designing methods of thinking, we design the pathway and the specific prompts within them.

Changing Design Education
“increasingly questions consumption and advertising, which are at the heart of industrial and graphic design disciplines.” “There is an increased demand for service-based jobs as our country re-evaluates economic sustainability. People are demanding quality, reflective and meaningful experiences in their world.”

“The subject of design is the humanization of technology, and as long as technological advancements continue, so the pragmatic and day-to-day jobs of designers will continue to morph. And so must design education continue to evolve.”

————-
Questions I pose, to myself and maybe prompts for others to think about:
What is your vertical (deep area of specialization)?
It may be something that can spread across a wide domain, or be applied to other domains.

How to make the game more meaningful and effective.
How to make it more fun? We’ll get to that after we address the basics.
We must “dramatically revamp their courses or face irrelevance.”  That is I am a test tube baby, a prototype generation for design education.

Cameron Tonkinwise asks, “If designers are innovative creatives why are they so very tame & lame when it comes to redesigning design education” (via Tiwtter @camerontw)
Possibly because professors are scared of becoming irrelevant and design students are afraid of studying a discipline that does not exist yet.  Although, that would be parcipatory design for design education – crafting the discipline as you define it.  Additionally that would be creating the cirriculum as it is taught.  Some of the main barriers to redesigning design education may be based in the fear of it becoming an act of blacksmithing design education.
Full text: http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=22988
Update
Jon Kolko is now heading up the Austin Center for Design, which has a focus on social design and real world impact.
They aim to create impact by “emphasizing creative problem solving related to human behavior, through the use of advanced technology and novel approaches to business strategy.”
Learn more about ACD here: http://www.austincenterfordesign.com/

Jon Kolko from Ix11