The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Professor offers class in creativity

One of the biggest buzzwords of the past decade has been “creativity.” Companies claim they need creative problem-solvers. Entrepreneurs are praised for their intuitive approach to a fill a need.

Kate Canales, a professor in the Lyle School of Engineering, agrees that creativity is key. She also fears that the window of opportunity is closing, and this concept is going to be left behind as nothing more than a buzzword that never materialized to its full potential.

“We’re in this really critical turning point where us saying that [we need] creativity is just going to have been a fad, this thing we thought was going to save us,” Canales said. “If we don’t actually start acting on that belief then [it will be] a waste.”

Her solution has been one of creativity itself — she designed a course, “Building Creative Confidence,” as part of the Design and Innovation Program she heads in the Engineering school. The class will “study both the mindset and the skill set that creativity requires.”

The desired result is exactly what businesses say they want: an applicable, active creative thinker.

“We say creativity is valuable but we’re not succeeding at solving the problems we say require creativity,” Canales said.

Her course plans to address this with real-life practice: students will identify a need they want to address and, spend much of the semester using this idea as the foundation for learning the skills to execute creativity.

“It takes a lot of guts to say, ‘I have this idea, I’m going to try it, it might not work’,” Canales said.

Resilience is one of the main points the class will address. This resilience is coupled with luck, one of the six pillars of the course.

Canales said those who are willing to fail and keep trying are often the most successful.

“[Those who succeed] appear to have more hits than the rest of us but it’s really because they’re having more misses than the rest of us.”

The course, which is not limited to or even catered to engineering students, is a “very personal, growth-oriented opportunity for individuals,” and one that calls for “imperial information from [a student’s] own experience to collide with the science behind
[those] things.”

“This course is both an opportunity, a safe place to try out a new thing. [It’s also an opportunity] to find something at the intersection of [a student’s selected] major and where their heart really lies,” Canales said.

The course will be offered fall semester on Tuesday afternoons from 2-4:50 p.m. It is currently open to sophomore-standing and above only. However, there is consideration to open the course to first-years during the
spring semester.

For more information, contact [email protected].

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