George Kembel, co-founder and executive director of the d.school, explores ways to tap the latent human capacity for creativity and innovation.
George Kembel is a co-founder and currently the executive director of the Stanford d. school, also known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. He has led the conceptualization, design, and development of new products and technologies for over ten years in both research and industry environments.
He specializes in the design process, idea generation, concept development, and rapid prototyping. He has built and led successful interdisciplinary teams from 4-person projects to 120-person organizations and has co-founded and built two design-centered corporations: Engaje, a design consulting and product development company; and DoDots, a venture capital funded software technology startup.
As a former entrepreneur, George also helped lead new investments for a $2.5B venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. He has taught on subjects ranging from human values and innovation in design to creativity and visual thinking. He has also won national and industry awards for entrepreneurship and excellence in design. Kembel's current design interests include biologically inspired design and design methodologies.
George Kembel, co-founder and executive director of the d.school, demonstrates how a group of his students conceptualized an innovative incubator for premature babies by using empathy to gain inspiration and reframe the problem. The incubator costs around $25 dollars as opposed to the standard $20,000 dollar incubator.
Ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. The term generally refers to a richness of ideas and originality of thinking. Psychological studies of highly creative people have shown that many have a strong interest in apparent disorder, contradiction, and imbalance, which seem to be perceived as challenges. Such individuals may possess an exceptionally deep, broad, and flexible awareness of themselves. Studies also show that intelligence has little correlation with creativity; thus, a highly intelligent person may not be very creative. See alsogenius; gifted child.
Oh, I just crave stuff like this. I am so interested in creativity. Problem solving. It seems like the greatest impetus I have had to be creative in my life was "thrift." When you can't afford to buy the bigger toy, or to go to manufacturing for a wonderful product, then you start with your toilet paper rolls and dryer lint and start building something that will work just as well. Then your head gets going and you dig deep, because you really want to solve the problem, and when you run into snags you re evaluate and think of other possibilities, or you solve the problem and then realize it wasn't that problem that really mattered. Fascinating talk and discussion. Thanks.
Relax Dora. It is Semantics yes though i believe empathy fits its placement. You cannot empathise with something that you do not understand, and the use is to explain the process of understanding the problem and being sensitive to it to a level that is equated to being empathetic.
Anyhow, yer all thumbs up and stuff, i'm all for boosting creativity etc, though you do have a valid point dora, as well as you danthemango. I have no doubt design students at any university would come up with equal ideas, finding a simple solution is not so hard as an individual as danthemango states, and can become convoluted within a group as Dora states. Furthermore George Kembel himself states "they just needed a better battery and a white LED, and they didn't know that..." which says to me, there was nothing stopping these people (or the general person) from solving these issues, but its hard if you don't understand the relevant technology.
Though I guess that is his point, anyone can be creative, you just need to understand the situation and the technology relevant (technology in the broad use of the term where even a hammer and a nail is technology). In which case i can state its great he's giving people a process here they can follow to achieve their aims, however, from my own experiences, each person will excel in creativity with different approaches. Though thumbs up for getting people thinking.
Creativity is available to all of us and only a small percentage are born with a drive, ambition and innate ability beyond the average/creative person to be an 'individual voice'/visionary. Having taught and knowing stories, I know that people have more in them than what they realize creatively. The problem is focus and discipline (which is huge). Perhaps that is why praises a team more than individual voice.
I'm happy to hear he is interested in approaching it an earlier stage as well (kids/middleschool/ testing/ high school).
Real empathy can be taught? This is sympathy & and I suppose a bit debatable or perhaps it's a matter of semantics. I understand and know it is critical to point out the idea of empathy(and find it critical); but I find it questionable if it is real or 'applied' thought under a corporate umbrella the way it is spoken here.
I do not like the praising of innovation through having to work on a team. Individual voices are equally as relevant and is something that should be addressed. As a freelancer, I know that when my work is assessed by 'a team' it gets 'watered' down to create an image that has mass appeal and loses the 'voice'. This all of course depends on the client and project.
Policy notion is interesting.
I'm not sure what to think about this overall; for some reason- there is something 'mechanical' about this. Some of this stuff is so obvious perhaps; and when it is broken down, it gets strange... not sure...
my grandfather was born prematurely in a small farm in a tiny German village. His father put him into the bread warmer above the stove and used that as an incubator, so yeah, the concept of incubators is just a warm place.