Reconceiving Creativity in Design Studio Education

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  • Title: Reconceiving Creativity in Design Studio Education
  • Author(s): Lisa Zamberlan, Stephanie Wilson
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Design Education
  • Keywords: Design Studio, Creativity, Design Education
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2325-128X (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1298 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Zamberlan, Lisa, and Stephanie Wilson. 2017. "Reconceiving Creativity in Design Studio Education." The International Journal of Design Education 11 (3): 1-16. doi:10.18848/2325-128X/CGP/v11i03/1-16.
  • Extent: 16 pages


The rapid expansion of design practice beyond a focus on artefact into new domains of service, strategy and social innovation has reignited discussion in scholarly literature on the role of creativity in design thinking and practice. Collective forms of creativity and the use of broader creative cultures are increasingly critical to sustainable practice, allowing designers to respond effectively to complex cultural, social, environmental, and economic challenges. Changes in the landscape of the design industry raise important questions about how design educators can foster the kinds of creative experiences and skills that will allow students to effectively engage in the new array of professional design opportunities available to them in the twenty-first century. This article describes a first-year interior architecture studio that aims to enhance students’ creative capacity by setting up a “total learning environment” (Reid and Petocz, 2004) for creativity through actively legitimising creativity and providing ample opportunity for collaboration to enhance creativity. The article identifies key learning objectives underpinning the course design, outlines the curriculum strategies employed, and examines the outcomes of the studio framed by creativity research and recent literature on the changing role of design practice.