The Creative Mind Initiative is a continuation of the conversations that began with the New Curriculum over 40 years ago. Our goal is to develop innovative strategies for creative thinking and build upon Brown’s past successes in fostering the creative impulses of faculty and students. The Creative Mind Initiative will explore creative thinking, and integrate it, both horizontally across disciplines, and vertically between students and faculty.
Creativity is a particularly difficult concept to define. And yet, we all immediately recognize its cultural, social, and economic importance. It manifests itself everywhere, in all facets of life, from the most quotidian to the most sublime. Creative processes give form to the shape of the world around us. We recognize creative forces in the evolving processes of nature, and celebrate it in the great innovative achievements of our age. Our project is to better understand creativity — or more precisely, the creative process — and apply these insights to our learning, teaching, and research.
There is no single strategy for learning creative thinking. Creative thinking is an intuitive and critical response to the world around us — to our diverse curiosities and interests, to the questions our observations generate, to the ways we frame problems, and to the strategies we develop for translating what we imagine into new experiences. We believe that the unique creative character of the Brown community is our greatest asset for understanding creativity. By providing a window into the classroom, studio, and laboratory, the Creative Mind Initiative hopes to foster a better understanding of the creative process as it plays out. It is our hope that these insights will provide tools for understanding our own creative processes, as we develop shared resources that encourage and facilitate the creativity of others.
Sponsoring courses across disciplines, the Creative Mind seeks to bring together unique groups of student and faculty to push the limits of creative thinking. Explore some of the coursework.
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Paper Zoo:These animations were conceived, designed and produced by members of Communicating Science Through Visual Media, a new joint Brown-RISD course that explores the pedagogy of teaching science concepts through video and animation.
Featured Course: VISA 1800T Communicating Science through Visual Media
Penguin Physics:These animations were conceived, designed and produced by members of Communicating Science Through Visual Media, a new joint Brown-RISD course that explores the pedagogy of teaching science concepts through video and animation.
VISA 1800T Communicating Science through Visual Media
Take a look into the inspiring and innovative research being done by students and faculty at Brown.
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Connecting the Brown community through creative interactions. Lectures, discussions, exhibitions, screenings and more.
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The Bruce High Quality Foundation are coming to Brown May 1st…
The Bruce High Quality Foundation Exhibition
Faculty members at Brown offer an insightful perspective into creativity and its role at Brown. Watch video interviews with faculty and hear their take on the Creative Mind.
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Casey Dunn is an evolutionary biologist focusing on Cnidaria, the group of animals that include jellyfish, corals, and hydrozoans. He is the director of Dunn Lab at Brown.
Casey Dunn – Biology
Leslie Bostrom is a Professor of Visual Art at Brown University who teaches painting and printmaking.
Leslie Bostrom – Visual Art
What is a Theory? These animations were conceived, designed and produced by members of Communicating Science Through Visual Media, a new joint Brown-RISD course that explores the pedagogy of teaching science concepts through video and animation.
VISA 1800T Communicating Science through Visual Media
We disassembled the materials at hand- discarded computers, printers, and other equipment headed for the recycling bin. From these raw materials we created kinetic sculptures.
ENGN 0930 DesignStudio: Kinetic Sculpture
If it is sometimes true that what goes up must also come down, then it must also sometimes be true that what comes down must also go up.
VISA1800L Hybrid Art – The Floating Sculpture Project
Forrest Gander is an award winning poet, essayist, translator, and Professor of Comparative Literature and Literary Arts at Brown University.
Forrest Gander – Poetry
John Donoghue is a Professor of Neuroscience at Brown and a lead developer of BrainGate, which allows people with paralysis to control a computer with their mind.
John Donoghue – Neuroscience
Creative thinking is a critical response to the world around us- to our curiosities and interests, to the questions our observations generate, to the ways we frame problems, and to the strategies we develop for translating what we imagine into objects and experiences.
ENGN120D Strategies for Creative Process – Final Projects
Students in the Brown IE/MBA workshop explored a simple, yet powerful principle… That innovation is the art of creating value.
Brown/IE MBA Workshop – Material Alchemy
Professor Ira Wilson is Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice at Brown University.
Ira Wilson – Medicine
Leon Cooper is the Thomas J. Watson Sr. Professor of Science and the Director of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems. In 1972 Professor Cooper received the Nobel Prize in Physics (with J. Bardeen and J.R. Schrieffer) for his studies on the theory of superconductivity.
Leon Cooper – Physics
The meaning and value of a material - particularly a common, everyday material – opens up and expands when we discover new formal and functional possibilities.
VISA1800L Hybrid Art – The Foil Project
This workshop explored bricolage as a creative strategy for generating value and recognizing entrepreneurial opportunities.
Brown/IE MBA – Bricolage Workshop
Professor Lipscombe discusses the relationship between creativity and scientific inquiry.
Diane Lipscombe – Neuroscience
The Grand Anything… a structure whose form and function is not predetermined, but rather emerges out of purposeful play
VISA1800L Hybrid Art – The Grand Anything
With support from the Brown Science Center, a group of students developed short videos that explain how visual perception works.These microcourses employ visual storytelling techniques to translate concepts from the life sciences into short, compelling videos for a popular audience.
Couresewire: Eye Movement
Professor Kingon discusses creativity in the context of entrepreneurship.
Angus Kingon – Entrepreneurship
This workshop explored storytelling as method for catalyzing the creative process.
Brown/IE MBA – Storytelling Workshop
Sue Alcock is the Director of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University, and a recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship.
Sue Alcock – Archaeology
The Generative Construction Toy is an iterative design exercise that develops students’ abilities to frame and reframe their product and process through the cumulative refinements of free play.
The Generative Construction Toy
Performance, object, and everyday life.
VISA1800L Hybrid Art – The Food Project
Students in DesignStudio explore various strategies for designing functional objects, with an emphasis on learning through making.
ENGN0930 DesignStudio – Final Projects
Communicating Medical Risk, taught by David Macaulay and Ali Zarrabi in Spring 2012 was a course linking RISD and Brown with the intent to improve visual and health literacy for patients and health care professionals.
VISA1800T Communicating Medical Risk
Lucas Mason-Brown studies Math and Philosophy of Science at Brown. He is also decoding a book written in a cryptic language by Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams.
Lucas Mason-Brown – Student
Barrett Hazeltine is a Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Brown University.
Barrett Hazeltine – Entrepreneurship
This workshop — part of A Better World by Design 2012 — explored the power of rapid iteration by reimagining of the classic paper airplane.
Throwing Paper Airplanes at the Moon
As part of Brown’s Center for Vision Research’s 5th year anniversary event, we asked members of the Brown faculty from across disciplines to respond to this question.
Why isn’t there a seam on the color wheel?
Professor Brainerd discusses how 3D imaging can give researchers insights into the biomechanics of organisms.