Creative Inquiry

From Ideation to Implementation

By Mary Stewart

Subjects: Art, Art - Textbook, Education
Paperback : 9781438486123, 144 pages, November 2021

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Table of contents


Module #1. Introduction

Module #2. Warm-Up Exercises
Warm-Up #1: Using Curiosity to Spark New Ideas
Warm-Up #2: Identifying the Variables
Warm-Up #3: Establishing the Criteria for Success
Self-Reflection #1: Warm-Up Exercises

Module #3. Creative Challenges
Challenge #1: Understanding User Needs
Challenge #2: Incremental and Transformative
Challenge #3: Problem Definition
Challenge #4: Targeted Research
Self-Reflection #2: Creative Challenges

Module #4. Six Ideation Strategies
Strategy #1: Convergent Thinking
Strategy #2: Divergent Thinking
Strategy #3: Analogical Thinking
Strategy #4: Technological or Material Transfer
Strategy #5: Associative Thinking
Strategy #6: Pattern Recognition

Module #5. Three Selection Strategies
Strategy #1: Expanding the Bandwidth
Strategy #2: Connecting Critical and Creative Thinking
Strategy #3: The Parts and the Puzzle
Self-Reflection #3: Idea Generation and Selection Strategies

Module #6: Developing a Capstone ProjectModule #7: Innovator Insights

Building a Better Business
Mark Breen

Problem Solving for Science Students
Ian Fogarty

An Interdisciplinary Approach in Medicine
Dr. Emily Pritchard

Hard Facts and Slippery Fictions
Jeremy Thomas Gilmer

From Building Housing to Rebuilding Lives
Dr. Jill Pable

Storytelling and Social Change
Liz Canner

From Colony to Collaborative Community
Christine Nieves

Self-Reflection #5: A Personal Board of Advisors

Module #8: From Coursework to Career

Tried And True Internship Strategies
Stephanie Vivorito with editing by Mary Stewart

Appendix: Ten Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Writing
Overall Structure
Writing Style


Further Resources
Sample Academic Programs, Centers, and Institutes

About the Author

Introduces both undergraduate students and general readers to the exploratory mindset and hands-on skills essential to the cultivation of creativity.


Creative Inquiry introduces both undergraduate students and general readers to the exploratory mindset and hands-on skills essential to the cultivation and implementation of new ideas. Using active learning, this book combines concise explanations and real-world examples with engaging exercises for readers to complete. The writing style is conversational, yet substantial, and the examples given reflect a wide range of disciplines, from early aeronautics and linguistics to zoology.

Creative Inquiry emphasizes the importance of direct experience, personal initiative, and the generation of new knowledge. Step by step, the exercises build the skills students need when they tackle the final self-designed Capstone project. Positioned at the end of major sections, five brief self-reflection papers are designed to help students assess their progress and revise their assignments. To encourage collaboration and strengthen metacognition, teams of three to six participants work together on these papers. This encourages an iterative mindset and provides extensive practice with writing. The appendix provides a lively and practical "Top Ten List" of writing strategies for students who need extra advice.

Mary Stewart is Professor Emerita of Art at Florida State University. Her books include Launching the Imagination: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic Design.


"[This textbook] fosters a large amount of reflection on the process of pursuing new knowledge by means of creative thinking. I plan on adopting this book." — Mauro Carassai, California State University, Northridge