DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Willems, Laura; Laperre, Dries
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Howest, Belgium
Section: Creativity 1
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


INNOWIZ (innovation wizard) is an easy to learn creativity method that on one hand helps chaotic people to find structure and deliver on time, and on the other hand helps structured people to experiment more and spice up their ideas. The method and supportive tools are designed to allow a personal approach and use. Since 2009 INNOWIZ is integrated in different bachelor programs (industrial product design, communication management, tourism, architecture, journalism, physiotherapy, …) at HOWEST and other University colleges in Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, US, and China. Since 2014 Howest Industrial Design Center (IDC) delivers INNOWIZ-based services in research projects, innovation studies and processes in the making industry for universities, companies and organisations.

In 2012 the Flemish Government decides to write a STEAM-chapter with 8 goals to achieve before 2020. It announced a new approach in education and launched different calls for innovation. HOWEST and especially IDC were asked to transfer their knowledge in design thinking and applied creativity, which lead to several new tools and support for secondary schools, their staff and pupils:


Based on the 4 steps INNOWIZ methodology – (1) problem definition, (2) idea generation, (3) idea selection, (4) idea communication – the INNOWIZ template set provides 12 templates in each step to help pupils to get started in their project with a creative approach. With a minimum of explication and a maximum of freedom, they learn how to find solutions by iteration. It helps them to get started as problem solvers and become familiar with open projects and wicked problems.


ONO is an abbreviation for ‘Onderzoekend eN Ontwerpend leren’ (Dutch), and can be translated as ‘learning by research and design’. The ONO steamkit supports a group of teachers to think about project work that transcend the boundaries of courses and to discuss about teaching formats and the freedom-to-operate for their pupils. Based on divergent and convergent thinking it allows teachers to get prepared for their role as coach, and concurs the threshold to get started with project based learning.

After thoroughly testing in different types of schools, both tools have shown that the integration of applied creativity and the independence of high school pupils in the approach of the project effectively improve their motivation to bring the project to a successful solution. Not only the students, but also their teachers have experienced a positive effect while using the tools. Interdisciplinary teams can now, with help of the ONO-kit, organise their meetings in a clear and visually communicative way, so all teachers can agree upon the project, its boundaries and the participation of their pupils.

This paper will explain the tools, show how to use and reflect on the first effects on users and projects.

Keywords: design methodology, creativity, education, open project approach, STEAM


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