Ideation: Channeling Arts Thinking Through Embodied Hybrid Practices
Arts thinking is the core to creativity, the question of how that rarely gets asked; not the how you're thinking of (how to play a C chord? how was this mark made?), but the how one came up with the idea in the first place (How do you know what sounds good? How did you decide what to paint?). Studying arts thinking can show how the creative processes employed by artists, designers, and musicians can provide a window into the development of ideas and problem solving through an embodied practice. This thesis investigates the ways artists think and solve problems creatively and tests examples of the ways arts thinking can be used as a strategy to bring innovation, diverse methods, and change-making to a broad range of projects and contexts. Using my artistic background as a frame, I will use a collage of case studies, written analysis, phenomenological narrative, and collaborative meaning making projects to show a bracketed example of arts thinking. I am leading the thesis with two projects: first, I am collaborating with the urban planning group Congress for the New Urbanism to re-imagine the traditional charrette-style design process using an arts thinking lens. Secondly and mainly, I am developing and conducting what I call action interviews to find and explore diverse hybrid artist practices and identify underlying methodologies. The goal of these action interviews will be to integrate greatly varying artistic processes and performance into the conversation itself so that I can build a bridge between these artistic methods and implications for their use outside of art-making, linking ideas and language with material and processes. The outcomes of this thesis are integrated with an exhibition and a website that will translate and share these materials with others.