Creative Thinking: Strategies to Develop and Refine your Project Ideas

October 17, 2015

Lecturer: Jennifer Danos

Participation fee: 148€



Every project we want to make or do starts with an idea, an impulse that is often inspired by a subject or question we are interested in exploring. But how can we make that initial idea the best it can be? This course will expose participants to a number of different strategies for research, development, and refinement of an idea while creating visual tools to track their ideation process.

This 6 week course is for curators, artists, designers, and anyone in the cultural fields wishing to make the creative process of developing concepts more effective and to arrive at ideas that would take their projects to the next level. The course’s expanded length of time will allow for participants to get deeper into their creative thinking process.

Following the course, participants will learn a range of creative thinking and research techniques, including practical and unorthodox research methods as well as visual tools to track their creative process. Participants will be able to apply these techniques to any number of project ideas, leading to the creation of each participant’s unique method that is suited to their specific practice and the needs of the project.


*Video-conferences every Friday at 7pm Central European Time. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!



Week 1: “How to be a creative sponge”

  • Introductions: who are we?
  • Idea brainstorming techniques
  • Mind mapping & other train of consciousness techniques
  • How/where to gather & keep this information
  • Look at types of visual logs
  • In-class activity: Re-invent
  • Weekly activity: Collect collect collect!


Week 2: “Organizing the chaos”

  • Practical & unorthodox research strategies
  • Filter and archive all that is gathered
  • Organizational strategies for the collections
  • Continue visual logs: Perception
  • In-class collaborative activity: Re-imagine
  • Weekly activity: Think big!


Week 3: “Finding the needle in the haystack”

  • Make new connections
  • Find hidden threads
  • Look at examples of artistic & curatorial processes
  • Continue visual logs: Experience
  • In-class activity: Re-write
  • Weekly activity: Bringing big down to earth


Week 4: “How can this be better?”

  • Critique strategies
  • Critical thinking & analysis strategies
  • Taking risks with idea development
  • Continue visual logs: Experiment
  • In-class activity: Re-wind
  • Weekly activity: Obstructions


Week 5: “Putting the pieces together”

  • Assess initial results
  • Group critique five obstructions
  • Pick one idea to further develop & refine
  • Know when to keep looping back through the process
  • Continue visual logs: Investigate
  • In-class activity: Re-visit
  • Weekly activity: Refine

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