[image credit: John Sherman]
We've seen creatives generate inspiration from all manner of strangeness over the years, but this has to be a first: Professor Peter Robbie's Design Thinking class at Dartmouth incorporates improv sessions. According to an article in Dartmouth Engineer, "I've always thought that the quickest and smartest folks at the brainstorming phase of design have been those who do standup and improv," says the professor. "They never say no. They never miss a beat. Improv requires players to accept what they are given, build on the ideas of others, and encourage wild ideas."
Robbie demystifies design by breaking it into systematic steps. "I believe it's important to create classroom experiences that will increase students' confidence in their own creative design abilities," he says.
Using improv to get students comfortable with brainstorming is a case in point. "Everyone thinks that they know how to brainstorm, but in fact, brainstorming is usually plagued by problems like self-censoring, competitiveness, and ridicule," says Robbie. "Improv is a great way for students to learn to defer judgment."
Read more about Robbie's process, philosophy and methodologies here.