“Creative Process” (UARTS 250) is a course that promotes interdisciplinary learning approaches through the lens of four North Campus “making” academic units: Art & Design; Engineering; Architecture & Urban Planning; and Music, Theatre & Dance. Each term a team of five faculty from four different U-M schools works closely with students to illustrate how thinking and working creatively brings greater productivity, accomplishment, meaning, and richness to multiple aspects of life: academic, professional, and personal.
Rotating through two-week sessions with different faculty members “place[s] students comfortably in zones of discomfort,” where low-stakes, introductory assignments encourage risk, failure, and iteration—all backbone principles for the course. For the final project students are given balloons with a word tucked inside. These words are simple, randomly generated, and as diverse as “butter,” “diagonal,” or “salmon.” The students are encouraged to explore their words etymologically, physically (through dance), spiritually and socially, building on the themes and skills explored during the rotations. Their projects are displayed and discussed at a gallery showing at the end of the semester to illustrate the diversity of work generated.