DESIGN 2022 Workshop proposal

Design Creativity SIG


Workshop title:

Bridiging creativity practice and theory: Opposites attract


Chair(s): Dr. Milene Gonçalves, Delft University of Technology (with the participation of Ir. Katrina Heijne, as the creative facilitator, TU Delft)



Workshop description:

We can trace the origins of scientific creativity research back to the moment when Guilford gave his acceptance speech as the new president of the American Psychological Association. From that speech onwards, the study of creativity has become a respectable scientific field and sparked the interest of many researchers, including us in the present moment. Surprisingly, it is also from that point onwards that a divide started to emerge between the theoretical study of creativity and its practice and implementation. On one hand, scientific research, first on Psychology, then in Engineering and Design (among many other fields), has been very prolific in understanding, describing and explaining phenomena related to the creation of ideas; on the other hand, the American Buffallo Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) and the subsequent European Integrated Creative Problem Solving (ICPS) have burst forward with their own developments on practical approaches to come up with ideas. However, very little overlap exists between these two communities. Even though they had the same starting point, theory and practice tend to distance themselves, sometimes even disagreeing on certain topics, or not keeping updated on the other community’s developments. This results in a potentially enormous loss of shared knowledge.

The motivation for this workshop is then to bridge creativity practice and theory, by facilitating in a creative session the translation of commonalities and differences that might exist in the two communities. Creative facilitation is a particularly relevant topic to focus on, considering that very few studies have shed light in understanding the nuances of facilitation and its influence on the creation of ideas in teams.

As such, we have the following goal: Explore in which ways can creativity theory and practice learn from each other, specifically during creative facilitation practices.


Workshop activities:

  1. Creative facilitation session: A number of participants (the resource group) will experience first-hand a creative session, ran by a professional facilitator, while others will take the role of observers, highlighting creativity phenomena that emerges. Special attention should be taken on the role and behaviour of the creative facilitator and the resource group [1h30].
  2. Group reflection: depending on the number of participants, the size of the groups will be formed accordingly [30 min].
  3. Plenary discussion, to define a research agenda [30 min]



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