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Zthinking Workshop

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  • The Zthinking workshop was originally designed to introduce 100-level undergraduate students at Savannah College of Art & Design to the concept of reframing a problem; understand the value of lateral thinking, and the importance of rapid prototyping. 
  • Initially, we ran this workshop with two undergraduate classes at SCAD. We gave the students in these classes the challenge of designing an innovative pen - we did not tell them what we meant by this. 

    These classes were both called "Creative Thinking Strategies". 
  • During the workshop, we observed the students stages of engagement with the activity of designing an innovative pen and also the prospect of having to work with classmates that they were not familiar with prior to the workshop.
  • At the end of the workshop we had a feedback session with the students. During this session, we discovered that the students enjoyed the comparative steps (vertical thinking versus lateral thinking) and also enjoyed how the reframing activity enabled them to broaden their thinking about the task of designing an innovative pen. Additionally, we explained that reframing a problem, the ability to use lateral thinking and rapid prototyping were good life skills to have. 

    Below is one group's presentation of their initial pen concept, followed by their "reframed" pen concept. 
  • We saw such great results from running the Zthinking workshop in these classes that we decided to test it with a local organization. 

    The video below illustrates the stages of the workshop and also the results. 
  • We believe that Zthinking (which entails a focus on reframing a problem, lateral thinking and rapid prototyping) can be an extremely helpful tool and creative thinking strategy.