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Fluid Dynamics: The Flexible, Transformable d.school Classrooms

This week, Linda Tischler has revealed the ins and outs of Stanford's new d.school building. We asked the students to provide some insight on their new digs as well.

MS&E 277 Creativity and Innovation is taught in Studio 1 on the second floor of the d.school, by Dr. Tina Seelig and an extending teaching team that includes star designers Dennis Boyle (IDEO) and Peggy Burke (1185 Design). Students learn about factors that contribute to personal creativity, as well as those that foster creative teams and innovative organizations. These factors include learning to frame problems, challenging assumptions and switching between different thinking modes.

This highly dynamic class kicks off in a circle, as the students play an icebreaker game to get to know each other better, and then reorganize to face the front to learn new creativity techniques from Tina and the team. 

Then the teams break up into groups trying out the new technique with a fun challenge. Spreading out across the room and into the hallways, the students grab whiteboards and begin brainstorming!  At the end of class students regather, share their ideas and reflect about the process. Which tools worked and which didn't? At what time, or in what context? Where else could you use this tool?

After sharing as much insight as we can fit in fifteen minutes, we transition to a guest who has been running a little experiment in the back of the classroom: Angelie Agarwal from Prezi, has created a mindmap mirroring the one the group collectively created on the whiteboard with Tina as a facilitator.

Students are now loaded with new tools and "experiences" on creativity to use on the battlefield of innovation. Today's class is over!

Watch the classroom layout transform in this timelapse video.

-- John Shinozaki is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, Design Methods at Stanford University. John is part of two international, multidisciplinary design teams where he is developing an innovative social networking device for grandparents and a monitoring device to help people with heart disease.

-- Leticia Britos Cavagnaro is an advanced Ph.D. candidate in Developmental Biology at Stanford's School of Medicine. Leticia loves to incorporate media capture and storytelling as teaching and learning resources, and acts as a catalyst of the blog where students reflect and share their learnings with the world.

Read more about Stanford's new d.school building

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