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Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways (Stanford d.school Library)


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(as of Oct 26,2021 19:05:02 UTC – Details)

“A delightful, compelling book that offers a dazzling array of practical, thoughtful exercises designed to spark creativity, help solve problems, foster connection, and make our lives better.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author and host of the Happier podcast

In an era of ambiguous, messy problems—as well as extraordinary opportunities for positive change—it’s vital to have both an inquisitive mind and the ability to act with intention. Creative Acts for Curious People is filled with ways to build those skills with resilience, care, and confidence.

At Stanford University’s world-renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka “the d.school,” students and faculty, experts and seekers bring together diverse perspectives to tackle ambitious projects; this book contains the experiences designed to help them do it. A provocative and highly visual companion, it’s a definitive resource for people who aim to draw on their curiosity and creativity in the face of uncertainty. Teeming with ideas about discovery, learning, and leading the way through unknown creative territory, Creative Acts for Curious People includes memorable stories and more than eighty innovative exercises.

Curated by executive director Sarah Stein Greenberg, after being honed in the classrooms of the d.school, these exercises originated in some of the world’s most inventive and unconventional minds, including those of d.school and IDEO founder David M. Kelley, ReadyMade magazine founder Grace Hawthorne, innovative choreographer Aleta Hayes, Google chief innovation evangelist Frederik G. Pferdt, and many more.

To bring fresh approaches to any challenge–world changing or close to home–you can draw on exercises such as Expert Eyes to hone observation skills, How to Talk to Strangers to foster understanding, and Designing Tools for Teams to build creative leadership. The activities are at once lighthearted, surprising, tough, and impactful–and reveal how the hidden dynamics of design can drive more vibrant ways of making, feeling, exploring, experimenting, and collaborating at work and in life. This book will help you develop the behaviors and deepen the mindsets that can turn your curiosity into ideas, and your ideas into action.

From the Publisher

How to think, create, and lead in unconventional waysHow to think, create, and lead in unconventional ways

Gretchen Rubin says, Designed to spark creativity, help solve problems, and make our lives better

Gretchen Rubin says, Designed to spark creativity, help solve problems, and make our lives better

Mike Krieger, co-founderof Instagram says Packed end to end to . . . see the world in new ways

Mike Krieger, co-founderof Instagram says Packed end to end to . . . see the world in new ways

Lorraine Twohill, CMO, says Navigate today’s world with agility, resilience, and imagination

Lorraine Twohill, CMO, says Navigate today’s world with agility, resilience, and imagination

Creative Acts for Curious PeopleCreative Acts for Curious People


Why did you decide to write this book?

It is astounding what people can create when they have a little bit of confidence in their own creative abilities. For me, creativity and design is all about problem solving and making things better for people. Those skills take some practice, and not everyone gets the training or even the permission to look at things in a new way and imagine how they could be improved. So this book came from my desire to share the insights and ideas about design and creativity from the Stanford d.school with people who might not ever get a chance to come visit us in California. We’ve been helping people develop their design abilities for 15 years, but only a fraction of our approaches have been shared widely. I’ve seen so many people come alive in new ways while trying out these skills and applying them to issues and projects they care about. I want more people to have that same experience.

How is this book unique in its approach to creative thinking?

Ideas alone only get you part of the way: to learn to do something new, sometimes you just need a push to get started. This book is meant to help you to actively try out new ideas and develop your own approaches. It provides a lot of tools to help you reflect on your skills and process and continue to grow over time. The ideas in this book come from a huge community of designers and faculty; each one is full of personal perspective and experience. Our instructors come from just about every field: medicine, law, financial services, consumer products, education, government, philanthropy, engineering and more. The sheer variety will provide everyone with meaningful challenges and approaches that are new to them. Some are quirky, some are serious, and all of them share a bit of the d.school’s unconventional ethos.

How do you imagine readers using the ideas and exercises in this book?

The ideas and activities are organized in roughly the same sequence as you might use when tackling a design project. But every person is different, and every creative process is too. There’s no singular or right way to navigate. Plus, people’s creative needs change over time. One person might be currently interested in ways to improve how they collaborate with others, while another might be looking for how to test their ideas and get feedback on them. Someone might want exercises to improve as an individual, and another might be looking for ways to lead their team to more successful, creative outcomes. My hope is that each activity sparks something valuable, and that readers adapt and remix the ideas in lots of different ways.

Do you believe everyone has creative abilities that can be unlocked, even as adults?

Absolutely. To be human is to be creative, and most of us need a bit of help to get unstuck from time to time. Hearing my students talk about how design has helped them bring creative approaches to how they think about law, or biomedical engineering, or entrepreneurship is what I live for! Design is for everyone — it’s a way to make and create, and it’s also a way to keep learning, dreaming, and asking important questions about what the world could or should look like. The ideas and prompts in this book will help people draw out their own creative abilities — while you tinker with these methods and activities, you might discover things about yourself you didn’t realize were there.

Publisher‏:‎Ten Speed Press (September 21, 2021)
Paperback‏:‎304 pages
Item Weight‏:‎2.11 pounds
Dimensions‏:‎7.56 x 1.01 x 9.98 inches

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