Intersections in Design Thinking and Art Thinking: Towards Interdisciplinary Innovation

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As the problem-solving methodology of design thinking has gained legitimacy in business and educational environments, this article suggests we also think about incorporating “art thinking” into approaches in design pedagogy. To study what skills and techniques can be useful in other disciplines, we can first review the stages of the creative process which are centered around preparation, incubation, ideation, illumination, and evaluation. Within those stages, we can tease out specific elements unique to the artistic process that can be particularly useful, including mindsets of emotional engagement, intuition, and tolerance of ambiguity as well as cognitive strategies such as the use of metacognition, resource banks, generators and constraints, prolonged research, problem-creation, conversation with the work, closure delay, and reflection and thematic coherence. Emphasizing these elements and strategies in design pedagogy can expand possibilities for creativity and innovation.

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